University of Waikato celebrates Distinguished Alumni for 2013


A distinguished professor of mathematics, a Māori Land Court judge and a Singaporean design-agency owner are University of Waikato Distinguished Alumni for 2013.


daad2013webFrom left: Edmund Wee, Judge Stephanie Milroy and Distinguished Professor Marston Conder. 

Distinguished Professor Marston Conder

Professor Marston Conder completed a Masters in Mathematics at the University of Waikato in 1977. He then attended Oxford University in the UK under two scholarships and finished his doctorate in 1980.

An internationally-renowned authority on combinatorial group theory, Professor Conder’s research has been published in more than 120 publications worldwide.  He has overseen many research developments in New Zealand, including leading the New Zealand Institute for Mathematics and its Applications and chairing the committee that established the Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF). 

He has lectured in the University of Auckland’s Mathematics Department for more than 30 years, serving as Head of Department and as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). A full professor in 1993 at just 38 years old, he was bestowed the title of Distinguished Professor in 2011 – the first Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Auckland University.

Judge Stephanie Milroy

Stephanie Milroy (Tūhoe and Ngāti Whakaue) is a Māori Land Court Judge and Deputy Chair of the Waitangi Tribunal. As a legal practitioner and academic, Judge Milroy has published and presented widely on Māori legal issues and is an advocate for legal education and access to justice for Māori.

She began her career with Hamilton law firm Harkness Henry after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Auckland. In 1991, Judge Milroy joined the University of Waikato’s newly-established Faculty of Law as a foundation lecturer. While teaching, she studied towards a Master of Laws and graduated from Waikato University in 1997.

Judge Milroy has presided over the Tauranga Moana and Wānanga o Aotearoa inquiries, and is currently the presiding officer for the Mangatu Crown forest remedies hearings.

Edmund Wee

Singaporean Edmund Wee, a former Colombo Plan scholarship student, is the Managing and Creative Director of Singapore-based design agency Epigram, and Publisher and CEO of Epigram Books.

Mr Wee graduated from Waikato in 1976 with a Masters in Psychology.  After returning to Singapore he served his compulsory three year military service as a military psychologist and later spent time researching secret society gang members in prison.

He made a career change when he joined national newspaper The Straits Times as a journalist, later becoming design editor. In 1991 he left to set up Epigram and has since won a string of design awards, including the prestigious 2008 Singapore President’s Design Award. In 2011 and 2012 he was named one of Singapore’s top 10 influential people in the arts.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Distinguished Alumni Awards celebrate and honour alumni Waikato alumni who have made outstanding contributions in their careers and communities, taking into account excellence in the professional, cultural, creative and voluntary sectors.