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Dame Susan Awarded Honorary Doctorate

Susan Devoy 2010Dame Susan Devoy, former world squash champion and current Squash NZ Patron, will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Waikato next year.

Dame Susan was winner of the British Open Squash title eight times between 1984 and 1992 and was World Champion four times - in the days when world champs were usually held every two years.

She was awarded an MBE at 21 and at 34 was made a Dame Companion of the New Zealand order of Merit.

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says Dame Susan is a very worthy recipient of an honorary doctorate.

“She has achieved in so many different areas, and displays qualities of excellence, energy and commitment and sets herself high standards – all qualities that we encourage in our students. She’s also one of our greatest sportswomen who happens to live and work in the University of Waikato region.”

International squash circuit

Dame Susan spent a decade on the international squash circuit, and when she retired from professional play, returning to New Zealand to start a family, she turned her hand to community work in paid and volunteer positions.

As a player, her grit on the squash court was matched by a determination off court to improve the treatment and pay of women players on the circuit. She brought those same skills into committee and board rooms in New Zealand.

Community health advocate

Based in Tauranga and bringing up four sons, Dame Susan has been CEO of Sport Bay of Plenty and a member of the Auckland District Health Board. She is currently a trustee of the Tauranga Energy Trust and a board member of the Health Promotion Agency – an amalgamation of the Health Sponsorship Council and ALAC.

Nationally, her long-service as a trustee of the Halberg Trust has been widely acknowledged; she has supported mental health campaigns, is a patron of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, a board member of the Sustainability Council and most recently has been a trustee for Home of Cycling, supporting the establishment of a new national indoor velodrome in Cambridge.

Dame Susan Devoy’s honorary doctorate will be conferred at the University of Waikato’s graduation ceremony in Tauranga in April 2013.

** Information gained from the University of Waikato website **

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