Regulus Address // Issue 1 // May 2021
Since taking on the role of Board Chair in 2017, Bryan has been a highly effective and well-respected leader, with an ethos to build on the legacy of the people who have come before. “So many people throughout the College’s 104-year history have played a part in the thriving school St Andrew’s College is today, and I’m constantly mindful of the responsibility and obligation to respect that commitment and effort through good times and bad, and to build on that.”
St Andrew’s College was dramatically impacted by the Christchurch earthquakes and Bryan, who was serving on the Board at the time, is full of praise for the leadership of Rector Christine Leighton and his predecessor, Garry Moore, to navigate the College through this most challenging of times. “Christine is an outstanding principal and highly effective leader, and Garry was so hands on and much more involved than a Board Chair would be in normal circumstances. Prior to the earthquakes Garry had facilitated significant changes to the College constitution, which enabled Board appointments with complementary capabilities, relevant to the needs of the College at the time. This meant we had a strong team around the table at the time of the earthquakes to support Christine and Garry.”
Bryan says it was also Garry Moore’s astute financial acumen and negotiation of the insurance settlement, that set St Andrew’s College up to invest over $110 million in redevelopment over the last decade or so. “It was a silver lining and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we were able to seize, that will benefit our College community for decades to come.”
Bryan is himself, a highly experienced governor, business advisor, and investor, with decades of experience in chief executive and governance roles in the corporate, private, and public sectors in New Zealand and Australia. He is a proud Old Collegian, with his sons, Henry (OC 2014) and Tom (OC 2016), also attending St Andrew’s, and his wife, Susie, having been a teacher aide and serving on the PTA.
He says his focus as Board Chair has been to facilitate further evolution of the College in support of its purpose and direction, rather than drive any wholesale changes. “One of the strengths of St Andrew’s College governance and management is we never think we’ve arrived. We are constantly striving for improvement and the opportunity to enhance the St Andrew’s College experience for all stakeholders, especially students and their families, without taking undue risk.”
Witnessing the growth in resilience at St Andrew’s College has been a highlight of Bryan’s time on the Board, he says. “The College has faced considerable adversity but is stronger and better for these challenges. The strength and confidence which has developed in our governors, management team, and decision makers, is powerful for navigating the years ahead.”
Bryan says his objective as Board Chair has been to add value to St Andrew’s College and its community, and to ensure a constructive and productive Board dynamic that enabled quality decision making. “I do feel like I’m leaving the Board with St Andrew’s College in a better position than when I joined. There are many, many people who have played a part in that, and I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to play my part.”
Bryan will officially step down as the fourteenth Board Chair of St Andrew’s College at the Annual General Meeting on Thursday 1 July 2021 and Felicity Odlin, who has served on the Board for five years, will succeed him.
During his 12 years on the St Andrew’s College Board, retiring Board Chair, Bryan Pearson (OC 1980), has helped guide the College through one of the most challenging and transformative periods in its history.