Contributions sought for new scholarship fund

The University is launching a scholarship fund in memory of the late Professor Brian Murphy, a widely respected educator in marketing.

Professor Murphy, who died suddenly in October 2006, was acting head of the Department of Commerce at the College of Business on the University's Auckland campus. The Brian Murphy Memorial Scholarship fund will provide scholarships for senior students completing research in marketing, business ethics or future studies on the Auckland campus.

Professor Murphy was known as a prominent practitioner of marketing research. He had spent more than 40 years exploring research methodology that would keep him at the front of his field both as a teacher and in practice. In the late 1960s he was a co-founder of the National Research Bureau. As a co-director of the organisation, he was a key figure in establishing the political opinion polls that made regular headlines in the New Zealand Herald and helped shape public opinion on the performance of the political leaders.

A model he developed based on stakeholder research was the cornerstone of a company, Perceptive, which was named best startup venture in the North Shore Business Excellence Awards, in 2006.

The stakeholder preference appraisal system brought a much broader, more comprehensive method to market research by extending surveys beyond customers to other interested groups including employees, suppliers, shareholders and the community. It was an approach that tapped into perceptions about a business performance and provided valuable new feedback to client companies. Perceptive grew out of the University's e-centre, with one of Professor Murphy's former students, Chris Pescott as managing director.

Before joining Massey, Professor Murphy had been Dean of Commerce at the University of Auckland, Dean of Business at Unitec and President of the private tertiary education provider AIS St Helens.

The Brian Murphy Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established with initial contributions from the College of Business and from an anonymous donor. Contributions to the fund are now being sought and it is expected to grow to around $300,000, says the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Business, Professor Lawrence Rose.

The new scholarship fund will be held in a Massey University Foundation trust account. The Foundation is a registered charitable trust and exists to support university projects and scholarships.

To contribute to the fund or for further information contact Fraser Bell at the University's College of Business: 09 414 0800 ext 2144, 027 354 0996, f.bell@massey.ac.nz.

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