January 20, 2015

Professor of Theology, Elaine Wainwright rsm, Retires from The University of Auckland

Colleagues gathered to honour Sister Elaine Wainwright at a celebration of her retirement after 12 years as Professor of Theology from The University of Auckland, late last year.

In their tributes colleagues acknowledged Elaine’s international reputation as a Scripture scholar, her unstinting commitment, her leadership, her ability to create an hospitable workplace, her relationship with students and staff, and her administrative skills in integrating Theology within the University.

Former Vice-Chancellor Academic, Professor Raewyn Dalziel, said that Elaine's appointment as the inaugural Richard MacLaurin Goodfellow Professor in Theology in 2002, called for almost impossible expectations. She acknowledged Elaine’s contribution to the University in achieving those expectations in setting up the School of Theology, providing graduate and post-graduate degrees.

Other Professors spoke of Elaine’s capacity for negotiating the changes to the theological curriculum and the School’s structures through her 12 years at the University.

Dr Moeawa Callaghan, a former Theology lecturer, said she used Elaine’s leadership style as a guide in her own professional life.

Dr Allan Davidson spoke for all: 'One of the marks of your leadership was your ecumenical commitment, which enabled us to experience collegiality which transcended denominational differences. Although we had been working in the Consortium for some years, you brought us together in ways which promoted and enabled collaborative teaching and strengthened collegiality. That was enhanced by your encouragement to us to come together around food.'

Dr Mary Caygill said: 'Elaine lives kindness, enacts mercy, and lives justice in her personal faithful living and in the exercise of her scholarship shared for all'.

Messages to: Elaine Wainwright rsm

Article and image: Dr Ann L Gilroy rsj - Editor Tui Motu – Interislands (assuming role January 2015)

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