New student receives Prime Minister’s Award for Academic Excellence

30 May 2013
Thomas Leggat receives PM Award
Thomas Leggat receives PM Award for Academic Excellence from John Key

Auckland law student Thomas Leggat is joint winner of the Prime Minister’s Award for Academic Excellence.

This is the top academic prize for a school leaver and was presented by Prime Minister John Key at the Top Scholar’s Awards at Government House on Wednesday 15 May.

The Awards recognised the top students from the 2012 Scholarship exams. Prizes were also awarded to the highest-achieving students in the 35 Scholarship subjects. Thomas received Outstanding Scholarships in History, Classical Studies and Media Studies and was top scholar in both Classical Studies and Media Studies. He also gained scholarships in English, Economics, Statistics and Modelling and Geography.

Thomas has gone on to receive a University of Auckland Scholarship and a Faculty of Law New Entrant Scholarship to support his studies for a conjoint LLB/ BA degree.

“We congratulate Thomas on his outstanding success. He has done incredibly well at school, also excelling in sport, debating and student leadership. We look forward to supporting and sharing in his future success in the Law Faculty,” says Dean Andrew Stockley.

Thomas has made a successful transition to university life and is enjoying his studies at The University of Auckland.

“I've enjoyed the first few months of Law. The Law in Society course has been a really good general and engaging introduction to the law and how it functions in society. It’s been a great start, and I'm looking forward to continuing my studies over the next few years.

“After university, I would like to establish myself in the legal profession before exploring other opportunities such as working abroad, or applying the skills I have acquired in other areas such as politics.”

Thomas is still grappling with the reality of his award.

“It was so far beyond anything I could have possibly imagined I would be able to achieve and so I can still scarcely believe it. I'm so proud of the achievement, and incredibly thankful to all the people who have given me such great support along the way.

“In my experience, the most important aspect of academic achievement is enjoying what you are studying. If you're interested in the course, you'll be far more inclined to work hard in it, and hard work is ultimately the surest path to achieving success in any given field,” he says.

Thomas’s twin sister Antonia Leggat is also studying for the LLB/ BA at The University of Auckland.

Fellow Wellington College student Nicholas On was the joint recipient of the Prime Minsters’ Award with Thomas.