On Saturday 27 October, 200 alumni, distinguished guests and friends of Lincoln University enjoyed a night of celebration and remembrance of 134 years of Lincoln University at the Air Force Museum in Wigram.
The ‘Generations at Lincoln’ event focused on the unique generational relationship of Lincoln University graduates. For instance, while three to four generations are common, some families have up to five generations who have attended the University.
One of those ‘five generation’ families is the McCaw family. In attendance at the event were two of those generations – current Alumni Association President Jo Spencer-Bower, her brother, current All Black Richie McCaw, and their father Don McCaw. Don’s father, James (Jim) McCaw was also a Lincoln graduate, as was his father before him, Alexander McCaw. Alex enrolled in 1912, however the family’s connection goes back even further – to their great-great uncle Basil Seth-Smith who enrolled at Lincoln in 1892 for a Certificate in Agriculture.
The evening included two alumni guest speakers: former deputy prime minister the Rt Hon Sir Don McKinnon and Everest mountaineer Mark Inglis. Sir Don studied agriculture and valuation and farm management at Lincoln from 1960 to 1961, and was also vice-president of the students’ association during that time. Mark was capped in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours in Biochemistry.
After reminiscing about his time at Lincoln, Sir Don McKinnon spoke about the fundamental importance of food and land to life and harmony in the world.
“The connection between food supply, land availability, land use, and political stability/instability is clear wherever one looks in the world. Hungry people become angry people. Landless people lose not only the means to feed themselves but also their sense of identity. They too become angry. We see it everywhere,” says Sir Don.
“It seems to me that in the food area Lincoln University can play two very important roles in the future. It can help contribute to global political stability and international harmony by assisting New Zealand with the research, knowledge and skills to expand its well-known capacity as a producer of food – feeding the world – and it can also provide the research, knowledge and skills to ensure that the expansion of production is environmentally sustainable and preserves ecological balance.”
The vote of thanks was given by scientist, winemaker, paralympian, charitable trust director, author and Mount Everest climber, Mark Inglis.
Mark first arrived at Lincoln in 1979 to do a Parks and Recreation diploma, however, decided to put the diploma on hold and launched into work as a Search and Rescue Mountaineer at Mount Cook National Park. He then returned and completed a biochemistry degree.
Before proposing the final toast to future Lincoln generations, Mark noted that for him “Lincoln is about opportunities, and they gave me an opportunity after my climbing incident, to have a future in science.”
Guests included three alumni who studied at Lincoln as far back as the 1940’s and the three Chancellors since Lincoln became a university in 1990 – past Chancellors Sir Allan Wright and the Honourable Margaret Austin, and current Chancellor Tom Lambie.
To view more images from evening, see our photo gallery.