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University to honour generous businesswoman

23 Sep 2019

A prominent Mooloolaba businesswoman and philanthropist who has advocated for USC since she joined its Foundation Board 24 years ago will this week receive a special honorary award from the University.

Jocelyn Walker, who became an Honorary Senior Fellow in 2011, will be awarded the Chancellor’s Stole on Friday 27 September at the 1pm USC Sunshine Coast graduation ceremony.

This will be only the second time USC has awarded a Chancellor’s Stole, a black cloth adornment lined in blue with two gold oak leaf bands which recognises extraordinary voluntary and/or philanthropic contributions to the University.

It will be a family celebration for the Walkers, with Jocelyn’s daughter-in-law Meegan Walker, a USC Lecturer in Clinical Exercise Physiology, also crossing the stage as she graduates with her PhD.

Chancellor Sir Angus Houston said Ms Walker had worked tirelessly and passionately to support the University’s pursuit of educational excellence, from fundraising and donations for major projects to scholarships for first-year undergraduate students.

“Jocelyn is a true philanthropist, giving her time to initiatives such as the USC 1996 Society as well as making substantial gifts to the Art Gallery, Health and Sports Centre, and Pool,” he said. “She also pioneered one of our first student scholarships.”

Ms Walker said the scholarship was close to her heart. “Earlier this year we presented the 20th Immanuel Lutheran College student with the Vic Walker Memorial Scholarship to attend USC. Their success and achievements are dear to me.

“I’m so proud we have a facility such as USC for them to attend on the Sunshine Coast. I’m also pleased I’ve played a part in encouraging others to commit to providing bursaries.

“When I joined the Foundation Board 24 years ago, I believed USC was going to be one of the finest universities in the country and that has happened in such a short time.”

Ms Walker, whose son Drew and son-in-law Andre are USC graduates, said she would be humbled and honoured to receive the new award from the Chancellor.

Five other honorary awards will be presented at this week’s graduations:

Award-winning author and Professor Gary Crew, who introduced Creative Writing at USC in 1999 and expanded the programs to postgraduate, will become an Emeritus Professor for his contributions to the USC School of Creative Industries until his retirement this year;

Sandra Jeffries, who recently retired as Director of USC’s Information Services, will become a Distinguished Companion for her contributions over 13 years to the Library and other services, including exploring technology resources as USC expanded to multiple campuses;

Natasha Read, a long-standing supporter and member of the University Council whose term concluded last December after nine years, will become an Honorary Senior Fellow;

Dr Suzanne Innes, a former executive director for the Department of Education and Training who served almost 11 years on the University Council, will become an Honorary Senior Fellow; and

Professor Margaret Barnes, who established the first undergraduate programs in nursing science and midwifery at USC and recently retired as foundation Head of the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, will become an Emeritus Professor.


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