Bishops to receive University of Waikato's highest honour

5 April 2016

Archbishop Sir David Moxon and Emeritus Bishop Denis Browne

Emeritus Bishop Denis Browne and Archbishop Sir David Moxon will receive Honorary Doctorates at graduation this month.

Two of Hamilton’s community leaders will receive Honorary Doctorates from the University of Waikato next month.

Archbishop Sir David Moxon and Emeritus Bishop Denis Browne will be recognised for their outstanding leadership and contributions to the Waikato community at the University’s graduation ceremony in April.

Sir David is currently the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See and director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and Emeritus Bishop retired in 2014 from an esteemed 50-year career as a priest and bishop.

Archbishop Sir David Moxon

In 1993 Sir David became the youngest bishop of his generation when he was consecrated in Hamilton. Throughout his 20-year tenure as Bishop of Waikato, Sir David was committed to several social and political causes, and alongside Emeritus Bishop Denis he supported the establishment of the Te Ara Hou Christian Social Services Village in Hamilton.

In 2006 he was elected Archbishop of the New Zealand dioceses – the seven dioceses that make up Tikanga Pākehā of the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia, and then became a primate and Archbishop of this church in 2008. In 2013 he became the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See and director of the Anglican Centre in Rome. That same year he was named Archbishop Emeritus of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia.

“I’m honoured to be receiving the honorary doctorate alongside Bishop Denis. We have been colleagues and friends for a long time in a common cause – the common good and the spiritual health of the wider community,” says Sir David.

Emeritus Bishop Denis Browne

Ordained in 1962, Emeritus Bishop Denis has served as a priest in Auckland and Gisborne, and as Bishop of Auckland and Hamilton. He was a missionary priest in the Pacific Islands for several years from 1975, and in 1977 Pope Paul VI appointed him the third Bishop of the Cook Islands. As Bishop of Hamilton he was committed to enhancing the educational performance of the schools in his diocese, and was instrumental in appointing high-achieving school leaders and upgrading facilities to meet community expectations.

He has received several awards and accolades for his service, including receiving a Doctor of Divinity degree from the Vatican – an honorary degree denoting ordination as a bishop. In 2001 he was named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the community.

Emeritus Bishop Denis says his honorary doctorate is a reflection of the work that’s gone into aligning church services with university life, “and receiving this honour alongside my good friend, Sir David, is an added bonus.”

Joint recognition

Both have supported the chaplaincy at the University of Waikato, and have often led their communities in joint liturgical services – a practice that still continues with their respective successors.

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley says their honour is well-deserved.

“Both David and Denis have worked tirelessly in pursuit of church and community wellness, in the Waikato region in particular, so it’s fitting they both receive Honorary Doctorates together.”

Sir David and Emeritus Bishop Denis will receive their Honorary Doctorates on 21 April at the afternoon graduation ceremony.