Sir Ian honoured, humble about honorary doctorate

Sir Ian Taylor is to receive an honorary doctor of commerce degree at the University of Otago...
Sir Ian Taylor is to receive an honorary doctor of commerce degree at the University of Otago graduation ceremony this Saturday, for his contribution to business and the city. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Prominent Dunedin businessman, innovator and television personality Sir Ian Taylor is to receive an honorary doctor of commerce degree from the University of Otago for his contribution to business and the city.

He will receive the honour at this Saturday’s University of Otago graduation ceremony in the Dunedin Town Hall.

Sir Ian graduated from Otago with an LLB in 1976, and went on to found world-leading computer graphics production house Animation Research Ltd (ARL) and media company Taylormade Productions.

He was named 2019 New Zealand Innovator of the Year, 2020 Deloitte Top 200 Visionary Leader of the Year, and in 2021 he received a knighthood for services to broadcasting, business and the community.

From its Dunedin base, ARL has been a global leader in technology development for the past 30 years, pioneering real-time 3-D visualisation for major sports broadcasts. In 2015, it won a sports Emmy Award for its development of the America’s Cup mobile application.

Sir Ian said he was honoured to receive the doctorate, although he was initially surprised at being awarded a doctor of commerce.

"I’ve never thought of myself as a businessman. It all just rolled out of my time here in Dunedin, where I did things like Play School and worked in television.

"I first came here in a rock and roll band, I worked here in the breweries, so Dunedin was home and I didn’t really start a business — things just progressed forward."

Sir Ian was humble about the honour, saying "it isn’t mine".

He believed it was only possible for him to receive it because of the work others around him had done to create his business.

Vice-chancellor Prof David Murdoch said Sir Ian and the university shared a special history, which began with Sir Ian’s student days and continued with his collaboration with the computer science department and his role as a successful business leader and employer.

"He carries considerable mana and is a true testament to what we hope our tauira go out into the world to achieve."


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