Flagship WSU scholarship still helping years on


John Houstoun was a driven individual with a desire to make a difference in students' lives.

His catch-phrase as President of the Waikato Students’ Union (WSU) in 1993 was “it’s a happening year.” John believed in fairer principles, better leadership, more support for student hardship, and stable governance for students. As a management student, he cherished the educational opportunities, friendship and camaraderie, and he was keen to see other students have the same university experience.

John was killed in a car crash in 1993 and a scholarship was established that same year as a memorial to him, and to help future students.

The WSU established the $2500 John Houstoun Memorial Scholarship to support outstanding academic diligence and contribution to student, cultural and/or sporting life at the University of Waikato. There was strong support with contributions at the time of John’s death from Waikato Students’ Union, New Zealand University Students’ Association, relatives, and staff and students of the University.

WSU President Kyla Campbell-Kamariera says the students’ union has always been grateful for the commitment at the time to establish the scholarship. “John was an inspiration to the WSU and we strive to accomplish what he set out to do which was to make a positive difference for students.

“He was a role model for students which shapes the criteria for the scholarship. This is our flagship scholarship which recognises the behaviours he thought were important, and it provides an opportunity to still help students today.”

Nearly 30 years on from the establishment of the scholarship, there are still opportunities to acknowledge John. Visitors can seek out a memorial plaque near the campus lakes, and anyone can contribute to the fund for the John Houston Memorial Scholarship by donating here. Further information on the scholarship is available here.