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Sir Julian joined the company's board in 1974 and was knighted in 2013 for services to business.
He studied accountancy at the university in the 1960s.
When the honour was announced, vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne said Sir Julian's contribution to Dunedin and Otago, both in business and in his charitable work, was exemplary and he was a fitting recipient of an honorary degree.
Allied Press publishes the Otago Daily Times and 19 community newspapers, in Southland, Otago, Canterbury and on the West Coast.