Alumni events for students to meet Otago celebrity graduates

Botany department and Allan Hall Theatre celebrating old birthdays

The Otago Alumni are holding events at the University, with opportunities for past and current students to experience, interact and network for life beyond university.

The Allan Hall Theatre is hosting a reunion party this weekend from 12 to 14 September to commemorate its 100th birthday. For decades, the Allan Hall Theatre has hosted opera, dance and lunchtime theatre, and is now showing off its talent and reminiscing its past in one weekend. For theatre and arts students, this may be an opportunity to liaise with past graduates and influential performers and writers.

The weekend will start off with "Pack In" on the Friday, including Lisa Warrington's Allan Hall 100 book launch, meet and great, and a ghost tour. Playwrights and actors such as Roger Hall, Andrew Lumsden (aka Te Radar), Vanessa Alexander (film maker) and various well-known faces from TV shows will be attending. Saturday consists of "Pop-up Plays" and a red carpet evening with an open mic and drinks. The Verlaines, a Dunedin rock band formed in 1981, will also be playing a set. Registration can be done via the Alumni webpage, with the Friday night costing $90 and the full weekend costing $160.

The Botany Department is also celebrating their 90th birthday this weekend, with discussions, history and topical sound bites. There is set to be an all day symposium, with National Radio broadcasting the event. Dr Katja Schweikert, a teaching fellow in the Department of Botany spoke to Critic about the upcoming events: "There are two public talks on offer, the Geoff Baylis lecture by Dr. Peter Johnson from Manaaki Whenua in conjunction with the Botanical Society of Otago; and the Tennant lecture by Prof Paula Jameson, a former lecturer at the department and currently lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury." At the symposium on 12 September, there will be a chronological overview of the life of the Botany department. Talks will range from what the department was like pre-World War Two, to talks by former students and current staff on current and future research.

Other events include a special exhibition at the Central Library and a Moss, Lichens and Liverwort walk. There will also be a workshop by the Botanical Society of Otago, which will take place to commemorate the Botany department. Dr Katja Schweikert said, “The 90th celebrations fully focus on the University of Otago Department of Botany as the sole provider in botanical education and research in New Zealand. Otago is the only university in New Zealand with a botany department.”
This article first appeared in Issue 22, 2014.
Posted 11:52pm Sunday 7th September 2014 by Anna Whyte.