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Well-known names among the graduates of 2014
Meet new alumni Ella Krauts and Sam Whitelock, from this year’s group of graduates capped at the University’s ceremony on 2 May.

Ella, who received a BCom (Food Industries), shot to national fame in the 2013 MasterChef NZ television series when she cooked her way into the top five. She so impressed judge Josh Emett that he subsequently offered her a job at his new Rata restaurant in Queenstown, where she is now working. Ella held a Future Leader Scholarship during her time at Lincoln. 

Sam, holder of a Lincoln University Canterbury Rugby Scholarship, was capped BSc with a major in Plant Science. His name, of course, is synonymous with the No 5 locking position in the All Blacks and membership of the Whitelock rugby dynasty.

Ella, a former pupil of Rosehill College, Papakura, said she “grew up a lot” during her time at Lincoln, and the MasterChef experience had opened exciting career doors for her.  From January – November 2013 she worked as a commis chef at The George in Christchurch, and since November 2013 she has been at Rata in Queenstown, as a pastry chef and now with larder section responsibilities.  Rata is co-owned and operated by Michelin Star winning chef and MasterChef judge, Josh Emett, and local restaurateur Fleur Caulton. 

Sam’s Graduation Day brought together many members of the Whitelock clan including brother George who received his Rugby Scholarship Certificate which he hadn’t collected back in 2011 when he had his Diploma in Agriculture awarded in absentia because he was overseas playing rugby.  

Sam’s mother, father, grandfather, grandmother and other family members were there and rugby lineages and sporting honours were numerous. Sam’s mother Carolyn represented Canterbury in tennis and netball, her father Nelson Dalzell was an All Black, an aunt was the sister of an All Black, and Sam’s father Braeden was a Junior All Black.

Grandfather John Whitelock said he was delighted by the educational opportunities that the modern generation of rugby players have open to them. The opportunities that his rugby-playing grandsons now enjoyed were not available in earlier times, he said. Now university qualifications gave the new breed of player a good foundation for when their playing careers were over.  
Of his time at Lincoln University, Sam said that he had met a lot of great people and he was sure many would be friends for life. “Through my degree studies I have now got business and science skills that are really practical and which I will be able to apply to any future career directions.”