Honorary awards

Michael Challis

The title of Honorary Fellow of the University of Sydney was conferred upon Michael Challis by the Pro Chancellor Alec Brennan at the Faculty of Economics and Business graduation ceremony at 9.30am on 14 October 2011.

Michael Challis

Pro Chancellor Alec Brennan and Michael Challis, photo, copyright Memento Photography.


Pro Chancellor, it gives me great pleasure to commend Michael Challis to you for the award of Honorary Fellow of the University. Michael Challis has distinguished himself through his exemplary efforts in serving the interests of the University of Sydney and graduates living in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Michael Challis graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from the University of Sydney in 1954. During his 37 years as a professional engineer in North America, Mr Challis played integral roles in designing and developing a variety of important manufacturing and infrastructure projects across the United States of America. His projects encompass both public and private sectors and have all borne the stamp of innovation. Mr Challis’s significant contribution to the industrial, healthcare and waste-management infrastructure industries of the United States have brought honour to the University of Sydney as he has always publically acknowledged the role that his education at the University has played in his success.

Michael’s longstanding contributions to alumni affairs, in particular his support of the relationship between Sydney University Graduates Union of North America and the University are of great significance in alumni relations. Mr Challis was instrumental in developing the Memorandum of Understanding between the University and SUGUNA that now serves well to engender a strong alumni relations program in North America.

With over 2500 alumni currently residing in North America, the importance of the work that Mr Challis has carried out for and with SUGUNA cannot be underestimated. The strategic relationship between SUGUNA and the University of Sydney is a critical one, with SUGUNA Directors providing high levels of ambassadorial support to the University in its alumni engagement activities in the region.

Michael’s commitment to nurturing links between the University and its North American based alumni is of substantial benefit to the University community. His continuing innovative efforts in developing and maintaining an accurate database of US based alumni offer immense benefit to both SUGUNA and the University, allowing both bodies to remain in meaningful contact with alumni across North America.

Pro Chancellor, Michael Challis has spent his working life as an exemplar of all that is outstanding about a University of Sydney education. It is with honour that I commend him to you for the award of Honorary Fellow of the University.