Malcolm Burns

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Sir Malcolm McRae Burns KBE (19 March 1910 – 17 October 1986) was a New Zealand agricultural scientist, university lecturer and administrator.

Burns was born in Ashley Bank, North Canterbury on 19 March 1910. He joined Canterbury Agricultural College in 1937 as a lecturer, and maintained a close relationship with the institution, becoming its director in 1952. In 1962, the organisation was renamed Lincoln College, and Burns' title changed to principal.

In the 1959 New Year Honours Burns was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire,[1] and was promoted to Knight Commander of the same order in the 1972 Queen's Birthday Honours.[2]

He retired from Lincoln in 1974, and his legacy is that he gave it its strong research focus, which has gained international recognition.[3] In the same year, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of science (DSc) from the University of Canterbury.[4]

Burns retired to Christchurch, where he died on 17 October 1986.[3] Lincoln became an independent university in 1990,[5] for which Burns had laid the foundations.[3] The Burns Wing on Lincoln's campus commemorates him.[3]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41591. p. 42. 1 January 1959. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45680. p. 6294. 3 June 1972. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Ross, Bruce J. "Malcolm McRae Burns". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Honorary Graduates" (PDF). University of Canterbury. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "Lincoln University profile". Lincoln University. Retrieved 19 June 2014.