Press Release – University of Waikato
No more than three Distinguished Alumni Awards are given by Waikato University each year. The awards recognise and celebrate Waikato University alumni who have made an outstanding contribution to their profession, to the community, to the arts or …
August 25, 2009
Waikato University honours food writer, critic
Waikato University makes food writer Annabelle White a 2009 Distinguished Alumni in early September.
No more than three Distinguished Alumni Awards are given by Waikato University each year. The awards recognise and celebrate Waikato University alumni who have made an outstanding contribution to their profession, to the community, to the arts or sport, or to more than one of these areas since graduation from Waikato University.
Ms White graduated from the University of Waikato with a Bachelor of Arts in 1980. In 1982 she completed a Graduate Diploma in Education Studies at Waikato, and gained her Masters degree with first class honours in 1983.
The Distinguished Alumni Awards will be hosted by the university’s Chancellor, former Prime Minister Jim Bolger, and the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Roy Crawford, on September 4. The other two recipients are EEO Commissioner Dr Judy McGregor and disarmament expert Alyn Ware. All three recipients will be presented with a limited edition cast-glass figure created exclusively for the award.
Auckland-based Ms White says she was surprised and honoured to hear she had been selected for the award and was looking forward to the September 4 dinner at the university’s Wel Energy Trust Academy of Performing Arts. “It is wonderful to receive such an honour,” she says.
“On reflection I hope it inspires any student at the University of Waikato in any discipline to realise that academic study liberates you in so many ways. With a good degree, extraordinary doors open to you and people will give you the chance if you show that you have taken studies seriously … I would never be where I am today if my first editor hadn’t ‘taken the risk’ that an inexperienced journalist could take on an important column and grow with it based simply on my academic record.
“You can live the dream if you show you have applied yourself when it counts,” Ms White says.
The former history teacher turned her hand to writing about cooking 20 years ago and has become a regular feature in New Zealand media with newspaper columns, radio shows, television slots, and roles in magazines such as NZ House and Garden. She is also sought after for appearances at food shows, and as a public speaker.
Prof Crawford says Waikato is pleased to count the likes of Annabelle White among its alumni. “She’s become an integral part of the New Zealand food culture and is widely regarded as a pleasure to work with. Annabelle White is a great example of people who take their university learning and diversify their strengths.”