Former Vice-Chancellor Sir Neil Waters dies

Sir Neil and Lady Joyce Waters at Eden Park, Auckland, at the 2011 Massey University Defining Excellence Awards

Former Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Emeritus Sir Neil Waters has died in Auckland this morning after a lengthy illness, aged 87.

Sir Neil was Massey University’s second Vice-Chancellor, from 1983-95.

He oversaw the creation of the Auckland campus at Albany, which opened in 1993, and the Sir Neil Waters Lecture Theatres are named in his honour. A professor of chemistry, he joined Massey from the University of Auckland.

The University’s enrolments more than doubled during his tenure and he was seen as a visionary leader for identifying the land at Albany as a site for a future campus. For the first time last year the campus overtook Manawatū in student numbers.

Sir Neil at work in 1983

He was knighted for services to tertiary education in 1995 and received an honorary doctorate from Massey in 1996. In 2011 he received the Sir Geoffrey Peren Distinguished Alumni Award, named after Massey’s founding Principal.

Sir Neil and his widow, Professor Emeritus Lady Joyce Waters, have been strong supporters of the University and its Alumni Relations Office in their retirement.

An obituary of Sir Neil by Massey historian Professor Michael Belgrave may be read on the Alumni Relations website.

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