Commencement Dinner Was Fantastic

Thursday 2 March, 2006
by New College Admin
More than 270 residents and guests were present at the recent Session 1 Commencement Formal dinner. The guest speaker was UNSW Vice-Chancellor & President Professor Mark Wainwright.

More than 270 residents and guests were present at the recent Session 1 Commencement Formal dinner. The guest speaker was UNSW Vice-Chancellor & President Professor Mark Wainwright.

Amongst the guests were a group of New College alumni from Dr Babbage's era years as Master (1973-1983): Nicholas Cutmore (1973-1978), Peter Hicks (1980-1986), Truong Minh, Nando Nicotra (1979-1982) and Paul van den Bos (1973-1974). These five had not been back to the College since they left. After dinner alumni toured the College with Alumni Coordinator Mark Fairfull who commented "one of the stimulating things for me was the wonderful anecdotes Nando, Peter, Paul, Nicholas and Minh shared. I loved witnessing the fact that they each truly enjoyed their time and were obviously having a ball being back in the wonderful place that is New College. They loved visiting their old rooms and got very excited by the new floor and its larger rooms!"

To see a selection of photos click here.

The dinner had a full program with the acknowledgement of University medallists and prize winners, awarding of New College academic prizes, introduction of the Stuart Barton Babbage Fellow, acknowledgement of guest of honour Dr Babbage and his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor's address and Q & A session.

Professor Cairney acknowledged the four 2005 New College University Medallists: Amy Dennison - Environmental Engineering, Claire Inder - Law, Rallinga Willson - Mining Engineering, Mark Pinese - Molecular Biology. Also acknowledged were UNSW prize winners. Rallinga Willson won the the Barrick Gold of Australia Prize in Mining Engineering and the Stan Sawyer Memorial Prize. The Department of Health Rural General Practice Prize went to Genevieve Lang. The UNSW Chemical Society Prize in Level 1 Chemistry was awarded to Michael Abbott. Jane Barr received the Hoya Lens Australia Pty Limited Prize and the Safilo Australia Prize. The Coherent Scientific Prize for Lasers, Optoelectronics & Applications was received by Jamie Kelly.

The Vice-Chancellor presented 6 New College academic prizes to: Michael Abbott - Commerce/Science, Jarryd Pla - Electrical Engineering, Yiling Cheah - Commerce, Dean McGeary - Mechanical Engineering, Rodney Towner - Civil Engineering and Kim Hoa Scruton - Medical Science.

Professor Cairney introduced the 2006 Stuart Barton Babbage Fellow. This Fellowship is the College's newest scholarship for a student undertaking a PhD or conducting postdoctoral research. Mr Luke Macpherson is the inaugural Fellow and has taken up residence in the College. In his response Stuart supplied many laughs as he relived some of his time in the College and the residents who had made a difference to the community.

In his address Professor Wainwright spoke fondly about New College and its important place in the University. He remarked on New College University Medallist Amy Dennison who was also awarded the Malcolm Chaiken scholarship when Professor Wainwright was a member of the selection committee. He commented on how her results in her first session at university were initially of concern to the committee only to find out from Amy that she had been spending a lot of time at College getting involved in many different activities such as the annual revue and play - activities that Professor Wainwright identified as valuable experiences for Amy as well as current residents.

Professor Wainwright commented on his affection for New College and hoped he would be asked back even after his retirement in June. Professor Wainwright remarked on the presence of alumni and acknowledged the Freshers saying they had made a smart and wise choice to come to New College.