Celebration of historic Peren building restoration

The Sir Geoffrey Peren Building, home to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

A series of events will be held on the Manawatū campus next week to celebrate the reopening of the refurbished Sir Geoffrey Peren building.

After undergoing an extensive $17 million restoration the building is once again home to the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The reopening events run from March 7 – 9 and centre on the theme of ‘Whakawhiti’ – to move or pass from one place, person or thing to another.

 Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey will lead the official reopening at an event on Monday evening. The night includes an unveiling of a wall plaque acknowledging Sir Geoffrey Peren who was the first principal of Massey Agricultural College, a forerunner of Massey University. The event also honours notable alumni from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and includes an address by Pro Vice-Chancellor Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley on the past, present and future of the humanities and social sciences.

Members of the Peren family have been invited to the reopening of the building, which has been described as a leading representation of Massey’s architectural heritage.

Mr Maharey will also unveil a piece of artwork by leading artist and current staff member Israel Birch, purchased for the building by the Manawatū campus art committee. The piece is titled Ngarunui, Ngaruroa, Ngarupaewhenua and is part of a collaborative exhibition termed Whakawhiti Āria: Transmission.

Professor Michael Belgrave  delivers a public lecture on Creating our Heritage Campus on Tuesday March 8 at 5pm.

The final day focuses on welcoming students to the building. A creative competition, linked to the theme of whakawhiti, was held in the lead up to the reopening. Students were asked to produce a short story, poem, film or theatre piece that explained their transition to university. A showcase of the finalists will take place on Wednesday from 12 – 2pm and local actress Maree Gibson and Te Manawa chief executive  Andy Lowe will judge the winners.



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