Michael Crawford - Partner, Deloitte Hamilton
Michael Crawford's often talking money – at work as a partner at Deloitte Hamilton, and Chairman of the University of Waikato Foundation.
The Waikato Foundation is an independent charitable trust that works to raise financial support for scholarships and other key University projects. Michael's been on the Foundation five years and brings with him a wealth of experience. During his 41 years with Deloitte, his clients have come from just about every profession or industry you can think of, and that's given him a good and thorough insight into business and people. More recently, he's been involved with project management, finance and syndication.
"I came onto the Waikato Foundation because I know the importance of the University to Hamilton and the region and I want to see it continue to be successful and grow." Michael's three daughters have all studied at Waikato, so while Michael didn't attend himself, he's followed his daughters' progress closely. "And at Deloitte we take on about nine graduates per year – most of them have studied at Waikato, so it's important to us that Waikato remains strong and the quality of student is high."
He admits that to raising money for Waikato University to enhance its profile and its offerings is a long term undertaking. "When I attend University alumni functions, I'm astounded by the success of some of the graduates I meet. Often they're mid career, but further down the track, it may be that they're in a position where they can give something back to the University that helped shape their career. "We're fortunate at Waikato that we get substantial support from the business community."
Growing up in Taupo and with a bach at the Mount, Michael's a boating and fishing man, but rugby's taken on a bigger role in recent years with his involvement in Waikato rugby. "From a playing point of view, Waikato's in a great situation, but there's been a marked drop off in people attending games, so the challenge is looking for new ways to fund the sport in the Waikato. And we have to overcome people's perception that there's too much rugby. We've got to get people back to the park."
Michael has also served on a number of trusts. "I have a community conscience. Like a lot of people, I work on and for organisations I don't always get paid for – it makes the community a better place, helps build success and while there are always challenges and obstacles, once overcome, there's a great deal of satisfaction to be gained from giving of your time and expertise."
To find out more regarding fundraising activities at the University of Waikato, visit the Foundation website here .