Honorary awards

David Westbrook Anstice

The title of Honorary Fellow of the University was conferred upon David Westbrook Anstice by the Chancellor Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO at the Faculty of Economics and Business graduation ceremony held at 9.30am on 9 October 2009.

Mr Anstice was President of the University of Sydney USA Foundation.

David Westbrook Anstice

Mr Anstice with the Chancellor, photo, copyright, Memento Photography.


Chancellor, I have the honour to present David Westbrook Anstice for the conferral of the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.

David Anstice has been a great friend and lifelong supporter of the University since he enrolled here as an undergraduate in the 1960’s.

Born in Wagga Wagga, David, like many other country students aspired to attend the University of Sydney. And like many other rural students he was also a resident at St Andrew’s College.

Obviously his experiences were positive because his associations with his College and the University have remained a strong part of his life ever since. And both institutions have benefited greatly from their connection with this global businessman.

After he completed a Bachelor of Economics, at the age of 24 David joined one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Merck, and stayed with them till his so-called “retirement” in 2008.

In the intervening years David became one of Australia’s most eminent US-based executives at Merck, and enjoyed a stunning career thanks to his business and marketing acumen.

He progressed through a series of positions and on several continents, including Managing Director of Merck Sharpe and Dohme, Australia; Vice President for International Human Health Marketing, and President, Human Health Europe for Merck.

From there he took on the role of President of U.S. Human Health, in which capacity he was responsible for Merck’s human health business in North America for eight years, including a period where he also had responsibility for Merck’s market in Latin America.

David’s success can be attributed to many fine personal qualities, including his intelligence, honesty, analytical mind, eye for detail, genuine optimism, and an egalitarian and disarming personality that treats all equally.

And obviously a great love of involvement. David has embarked on his so called ‘retirement’ by joining the boards of two biotechnology companies; CSL in Melbourne, and Alkermes Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In the United States, David has also lent his skills to organizations that reflect his broad interests, including the US Biotechnology Industry Organisation, the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, and the Board of the Foundation of the University of the Valley of Guatemala.

The qualities David has displayed in business have been evident in his on-going involvement with the University of Sydney.

After a long association, in 2003 David became Chairman and President of the University of Sydney USA Foundation. He has worked strenuously to promote the University of Sydney internationally, and to raise both friends and funds for the University.

Despite all the pressures that accompany senior positions in business, David has found the time and energy to support both the University and St Andrew’s College in many ways, recognizing the important connections between the University and its residential colleges.

He is currently contributing his extensive experience and knowledge of US-Australian relations as a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of the Advisory Committee on Innovation for the University’s US Studies Centre.

David has been described as possessing the kinds of qualities that one looks for in a true philanthropist: caring, commitment, modesty and a spirit of genuine giving from the heart.

Chancellor, I present David Westbrook Anstice and I invite you to confer the title of Honorary Fellow of the University upon him.