UNE thanks a generous community for scholarships

Published 26 May 2009

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The presentation of scholarships worth more than $2.7 million at the University of New England brought scholarship donors and students together earlier this month in a celebration of the University’s vital role in the community.

UNE’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Pettigrew, welcomed the scholarship donors and recipients, and members of the UNE and wider communities, to the University’s Scholarship Presentation Ceremony for 2009, and thanked the donors for their generosity and their vision.

During the ceremony, scholarship donors met and congratulated recipients as they presented 85 undergraduate scholarships worth more than $1.2 million and 77 postgraduate scholarships worth more than $1.5 million. The donors included representatives of industry, business, government, community and professional organisations, as well as individuals.

Inaugural scholarships this year included the Clyde Agricultural / Edward Scott UNE Scholarship (presented to Scott Miller), the NAB Agribusiness / UNE Scholarship (presented to Ross Leggett), and the Poultry CRC Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship (presented to Daniel Handcock).

UNE’s Deputy Chancellor, Scott Williams, presented four students with Scott Williams Opportunity Scholarships. These scholarships are for students who demonstrate their potential in business entrepreneurial initiatives, skill and ideas, demonstrate leadership potential, and are actively involved in College and/or other community activities. One of the four, Nicholas Watts from Willow Tree, said the scholarship had enabled him to take on extra-curricular activities while studying – activities which had included launching an Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students group at UNE, UNiTEdinc. “Working with the UNiTEdinc team has been an absolute pleasure and a great way to learn from experience how to work with a team to serve the community of students at UNE,” he said.

Among the undergraduate scholarships presented were 13 UNE Country Scholarships valued at $5,000 a year for the duration of the student’s course. UNE’s Country Scholarship Scheme, established in 1998, has helped more than 200 outstanding school-leavers from regional and remote areas to live and study at UNE. Country Scholarships are supported by organisations and individuals, as well as by the University itself.

While these scholarships (and many others) are available to students throughout UNE’s wide range of disciplines, the UNE Country Equity Scholarships, supported by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, are awarded to students from country areas who are interested in teaching and nursing careers. Three Country Equity Scholarships were presented on Wednesday. Other scholarships presented to students of particular disciplines included scholarships for students of Urban and Regional Planning supported by Armidale Dumaresq Council, Kempsey Shire Council and Moree Plains Shire Council, and the Hyman Scholarships for Rural Medicine.

In offering a vote of thanks to the scholarship donors and the University, Fiona Fishpool, a previous recipient of a Wool Industry Undergraduate Scholarship, thanked the scholarship sponsors and donors, and the University, for recognising the students’ achievements and potential.  “I am honoured to be counted among these students who have demonstrated such extraordinary commitment  to academia, leadership, sport, and community involvement,” she said.   “The financial assistance provided by these scholarships can be the difference between a student undertaking tertiary education or not.  It can assist in living expenses and in purchasing necessary course material, and for many it will encourage not only academic achievement but involvement in all the social, cultural and sporting opportunities that UNE has to offer.”

Ms Fishpool concluded by urging her fellow scholarship recipients to make the most of the experiences UNE presents to them. “I urge you to make the most of the opportunities afforded to you by your scholarship, and to give back what you can through your continued success,” she said.

THE PHOTOGRAPH displayed here, taken at the Scholarship Presentation Ceremony, shows the Director of the Office of Advancement and CEO of the UNE Foundation, Martha Saw, and a recipient of an Australian Postgraduate Award, Nick Flood. It expands to show (from left) the recipient of the Mary Spence Memorial Scholarship, Kenneth Gunther, Mrs Ann Pettigrew, Professor Alan Pettigrew, the Chairman of the UNE Foundation, Dr Geoff Fox, and Deputy Chancellor and donor Scott Williams,