New Zealand Law Society - Guard of honour for Professor Mark Henaghan

Guard of honour for Professor Mark Henaghan

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Otago University law professor Mark Henaghan received a moving send off last week after his final lecture at Otago University’s Law School on Thursday.

Photo of Mark Henaghan
Professor Mark Henaghan. 

Concluding a 41-year run as a lecturer and 19 years as Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Henaghan gave his final law class a piece of simple advice that could only come from a Disney movie – “just keep swimming”. He ended with his traditional reading from Oscar Wilde’s, The Happy Prince (read here by Stephen Fry).

As the class spilled out, hundreds of students, alumni and staff gathered around him creating a cheering guard of honour between the Archway 4 lecture theatre and Union Hall, where a party was organised for him.

“I felt totally surprised, stunned, amazed and also very honoured that busy students and colleagues and others on campus would take time out of their day to give me such a send-off," Professor Henaghan was quoted in an article on the Faculty of Law’s website.

"It was a very humbling experience which I appreciate deeply and will never forget for the rest of my life.”

Professor Henaghan stepped down from his positions at the university earlier this year and accepted a professorship at the University of Auckland Law School to be closer to his granddaughter.

“This has been my home, my turangawaewae, my place of being and identity for 47 years. It’s a big change for me and I will miss Otago greatly,” he said at the farewell.

Raymond Mark Henaghan was the subject of a Jock Anderson profile in LawPoints in 2016, when he revealed that if he could have some people around for dinner they would be Muhammad Ali, St Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther King, Oscar Wilde, Joan Rivers and Mother Mary Aubert.