Sir Owen G Glenn Building

Located in New Zealand's largest city, the Business School's purpose-built Sir Owen G Glenn Building dominates the Grafton Road side of the city campus at the heart of Auckland's main commercial centre.

Overview

The Business School's award-winning Sir Owen G Glenn Building gives staff and students an integrated, purpose-built structure. It houses fully equipped lecture theatres, computer labs, work rooms and social spaces, along with cafés and an on-site bank, clustered around a spectacular 26m-high atrium. Disabled access and facilities are available throughout the building.

The iconic building stands as a place of convergence for business, academia and government - a collaborative, knowledge-rich environment within which to forge the capabilities that this country needs to succeed in sophisticated global markets.

Designed by architect firms Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp and Archimedia, the Sir Owen G Glenn Building was completed in 2008 and has since won numerous awards, including an NZIA Auckland Architecture Award, and was shortlisted at the World Architecture Festival Awards.

The building hosts a wide range of events and can accommodate cocktail-style functions for up to 500 people, and formal sit-down dinners for 250 guests.

The Business School does not hire its facilities to the public, but makes them available to those who share a connection with the University of Auckland, including business partners and donors.

For more information or to enquire about a specific event please contact:

Events team
The University of Auckland Business School
Phone: + 64 9 923 3322
Email: events@business.auckland.ac.nz

Te Toka Kāmaka o Waipārūrū - The soul of the University of Auckland Business School

In the entrance of the Sir Owen G Glenn Building of the University of Auckland Business School stands a sculptural artwork that embodies a thousand years of traditional thought on life and knowledge.

The centrepiece of the artwork is the Pounamu Kahurangi, a rare form of jade or greenstone blessed with the name Te Toka Kāmaka o Waipārūrū. It is the mauri or life essence of the Business School and its wairua or spirit, protects traditional Māori values in all ceremonies that take place in the building and its environs, and also the values associated with higher learning and knowledge.

Te Toka Kāmaka o Waipārūrū represents the strength and solidity of the School, symbolically linking manuhiri or visitors, students and staff, the past and the present and the North and South Islands.

In Māori, toka moana refers to a staunch rock in wild seas and kāmaka is a foundation stone; Te Toka Kāmaka being the foundation of great value, symbolically reflecting the links between sea and land with sacredness and power. Waipārūrū, commonly known as Grafton Gully where the Business School is located, is the valley and stream that once tumbled down to the Waitematā Sea. The building receives its mana or power from the valley and cascading waters, while at the same time giving mana back to Waipārūrū.

Pounamu is highly valued in Aotearoa New Zealand for its intrinsic tapu or sacredness and vitality. It is treasured for its strength, durability and beauty. Jade is also regarded the most noble of gems in Chinese culture. It is said to possess the five essential virtues of Chinese philosophy: compassion, modesty, courage, justice and wisdom, qualities that are foundational in Māori thought also.

The body of the sculpture, depicts "He tangata, he rangatira", a high-ranking rangatira or leader wearing a ceremonial korowai or cloak, its shoulders of a softer serpentine stone support the treasured pounamu as the most sacred part of the human body, the roro or brain. The sculptural piece was made by two Māori artists, a master pounamu carver, Mike Mason, and artist designer Carin Wilson.

About Sir Owen G Glenn

In 2002, expatriate businessman Sir Owen G Glenn donated $7.5 million to the Business School for the development of premises and facilities.

This generous contribution is believed to be the largest private donation in New Zealand educational history, and was driven by Sir Glenn's belief in the Business School's mission and in the benefits high-quality business education confers on New Zealand business and society. In recognition of this gift the Business School’s complex, opened in early 2008, was named the Owen G Glenn Building. In 2018 the building was renamed to the Sir Owen G Glenn Building to recognise his knighthood which took place in 2013.

Sir Owen Glenn followed his initial $7.5 million donation in 2008 with the donation of an additional $500,000 to establish the Barry Spicer and Owen G Glenn PhD Scholarships. These scholarships received matched funding of $250,000.

Mr Glenn is founder, owner and executive chair of OTS Logistics Group. One of the world's largest logistics enterprises, it is a billion-dollar revenue company with offices in 105 countries. He has expressed the hope that the global scale of his business achievements might act as inspiration to others.

Top-quality business education is vital to the future success of New Zealand, and I am delighted to be able to help in this way and to be a part of the vision of the Business School and the University of Auckland.

Sir Owen G Glenn

After an initial donation of $100,000 to funded research into the viability of a proposed National Training Centre for High Performance Sport at the Millennium Institute on Auckland's North Shore, Mr Glenn donated a further $1 million with the aim of attracting other private sector donations. In October 2010, he pledged to match other private and business donations by a further $2.75 million, lifting his total donations to the project to $3.85 million.

He supports a number of international charities through the Glenn Family Foundation and helped establish the International SeaKeepers Society. He has financially contributed to the University's South Pacific Centre for Marine Science at Leigh and in 2010 gifted $300,000 for the establishment of a chair in cancer research at the University.