David Anstice awarded honorary doctorate

26 April 2021
Mr Anstice is one of the most influential figures in the pharmaceutical industry
The University of Sydney has awarded an honorary doctorate to David Anstice AO in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business, education and the wider community.

With more than 45 years’ experience in the global pharmaceutical industry, Mr Anstice has been instrumental in improving relations between Australia and the United States.

Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney Professor Stephen Garton conferred the Doctor of Business (honoris causa) on Mr Anstice at a ceremony in the Great Hall last week.

Honorary degrees are awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the wider community or who have achieved exceptional academic or creative excellence.

“David Anstice has had a remarkable international career in the pharmaceutical industry, leading developments that have made vital contributions to human health,” Professor Garton said.

(L-R): Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Stephen Garton, Mr David Anstice AO and Head of the School of Economics Professor Garry Barrett at the ceremony in the Great Hall.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Economics, Mr Anstice joined the pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp & Dohme in 1974. The company is a world leader in the discovery, development and manufacturing of prescription medication and vaccines.

Mr Anstice was appointed Managing Director of Australia at a young age and went on to lead Merck’s regional businesses in Europe, North America and Asia. He played a critical role in securing the global development and commercialisation rights to the HPV vaccine, which has rapidly reduced rates of cervical cancer in young women.

More recently, Mr Anstice has provided many students in the University of Sydney Business School with international and study opportunities. In 2010, he established the Westbrook and Jessie Anstice International Travel Scholarship to support coursework and honours students attending an international seminar of conference. 

For many years now, David has been a source of advice, encouragement and wise counsel to many in the Business School.
Professor Greg Whitwell, Dean of the Business School

Three years later, he established the Anstice MBA Scholarship for Community Leadership to help emerging leaders in community organisations acquire world-class business and management skills.

“For many years now, David has been a source of advice, encouragement and wise counsel to many in the Business School. We are a better school as a result of all David’s contributions,” Professor Greg Whitwell, Dean of the Business School, said.

While announcing the extension of the MBA scholarships last year, Mr Anstice commented: “I have always been thankful for the education I received at the University of Sydney, which was supported in my case by a Commonwealth scholarship.

“Throughout my career I have continued to benefit from the support of others who have gone before me. One of the best ways that I can pay back their generosity, is to support the generations that follow, and to assist those in need of assistance."

Primarily based in the United States, Mr Anstice has been a dedicated member and Chairman of the University of Sydney USA Foundation Board since 2003. The Board strengthens ties between the University and alumni and friends based in the United States and allows philanthropic support to be provided by United States donors.

“Despite his many commitments he has devoted his time and expertise to improving relations between the United States and Australia and contributing to the educational opportunities of many young people who are seeking to broaden their learning experience,” Professor Garton said.

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