There were many warm wishes for Professor Alan Pettigrew yesterday when the staff of the University of New England said farewell to him and his wife Ann on his retirement from the position of Vice-Chancellor.
“We’ve had a wonderful time here and we’ll miss the place,” Professor Pettigrew said during the farewell function on the lawns of “Booloominbah”.
After the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Webb, had thanked him, on behalf of the University, for all his achievements as Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pettigrew said that those initiatives had been successful “only because other people wanted to move forward”. He encouraged the staff to build on what they had achieved together, saying: “I think we’ve sown the seeds of a strong future for the University.”
Among those achievements, Professor Webb mentioned the creation of a new senior management team for the University, the establishment of UNE’s School of Rural Medicine within the Joint Medical Program, the charting of a new strategic direction for the University through wide consultation with the staff, a process of academic renewal that has allowed for the creation of important new courses, and the restructuring of the Faculties in a way that promotes interdisciplinary collaboration. Professor Pettigrew was Vice-Chancellor of UNE for almost four years.
Professor Webb said that Professor Pettigrew had maintained “equanimity, generosity – and even humour” through difficult as well as through good times, and that in this he had been “an incredible role model”.
Professor Webb paid tribute to the dedicated support of Mrs Ann Pettigrew for her husband and the University, and her committed involvement – alongside Professor Pettigrew himself – in the life of the wider Armidale community. Mrs Pettigrew, too, was warmly farewelled by individual members of staff.
Among the many parting gifts that Professor Pettigrew and Mrs Pettigrew have received is a framed photograph – presented to them during yesterday’s function – of “Trevenna”, the Vice-Chancellor’s residence at UNE.
THE PHOTOGRAPH of Professor Alan Pettigrew displayed here was taken at a farewell dinner for him at UNE during the week.