to Prof Watson
It’s been a busy month for foundation Albany
principal Ian Watson. His attendance was most definitely required at farewell
events held at Palmerston North and Albany, marking his formal retirement
after 33 years with the University.
At the Academic Board farewell on 20 August, the many tributes paid included
an address by Professor Robert Anderson, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College
“ Ian Watson has not only ‘made a genuine difference’
to this University (and a very big difference at that), but also, he epitomises
those fundamental human qualities of honesty, integrity, loyalty, humility
and above all, service beyond self. His passion for, and dedication to,
advancing the best interests of Massey University and all that it stands
for during the past 33 years is remarkable.”
In closing, Professor Anderson said “I can think of no more appropriate
– and deserved – accolade than to say ‘When I think
of him in the years ahead I will be reminded that, as founding Principal
at Albany, Ian was to that campus in the 90s all that Sir Geoffrey Peren
was to Massey Agricultural College in the 30s, 40s and 50s.’ ”
During August Professor Watson was also honoured by the American Chambers
of Commerce, with whom he has been associated since 1997. At a special
awards function, Amcham named him Member of the Year. Executive director
Mike Hearn listed his many contributions to Amcham, noting that at the
same time he had been busy growing an outstanding institution with 4300
students, “from grassy fields back in 1993”.
Mr Hearn said Professor Watson’s vision and personality have had
a profound effect on the future of many young people, with the campus
at the forefront of new ideas, including the establishment of one of the
first technology clusters in New Zealand.
“ On top of this they have acres of spare land to expand in the
future, something other universities would die for.
“There are very few academics who manage to keep my attention span
for very long. However, I always enjoy listening to our winner. As the
dyslexic Jim Hopkins said at the recent graduation dinner - Forp, you
are a legend.”
Watson will be back in his usual place at the Albany campus from next
month until the appointment of a successor, under the new title of Deputy
Vice-Chancellor – Auckland.