John M. Ward AO, MA, LLB, DUniv, FAHA, FASSA, FRAHS
Dean of the Faculty of Arts, 1962
New South Wales-born, John Ward took degrees in both Arts and Law at Sydney University.
Ward began teaching in the History department as a lecturer in 1944. Although he was admitted to the New South Wales bar in 1948, his deafness was an impediment to a career in the law and he stayed with the History department, succeeding S.H. Roberts to the Challis chair of History in 1949. Like Roberts, Ward also went on to become vice-chancellor, the third from the Arts faculty.
Ward was elected dean in 1962, to succeed A.J. Dunston, but resigned half-way through his term of office in order to take up a post at Yale. He later briefly acted as dean in late 1964 while R.B. Farrell took sick leave. He was also the last person to chair the old Professorial Board and the first to chair the Academic Board (which replaced it). In 1979 Ward became deputy vice-chancellor, and in 1981 was the first former student to be appointed vice-chancellor and principal. During this period he retained the Challis chair until 1982, and continued as a professor of History after becoming vice-chancellor.
Only a few months after retiring in 1990 Ward, with his wife and daughter, died in a train crash near Sydney. He had been appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1983 and in 1990 received the degree of Doctor of the University from Sydney University.
Australian Academy of the Humanities