The Legend of the Raven

This raven, cast for the fountain in 2003, matches the raven figure which has stood high over the eastern entrance to the Building since its completion, in 1889. Above the older raven, at the apex of the gable, are carved the initials AS, intertwined. The initials are those of Thomas Anderson Stuart, founding Dean of the Faculty of Medicine (1883 -1920), Professor of Anatomy and Physiology and the dominant figure of the Faculty's first decades.

The Raven - photo by Roland Smith, 2003

Sir Thomas Anderson Stuart conceived this Building and was the driving force in its construction. He also had a prominent nose, and the legend of the raven has it that, on that account, his students called him coracoid (from the Greek corax for raven), and that he placed the raven as a riposte.

The Building's first raven represents the proud determination of its creator to establish a great medical school in the irreverent colony of New South Wales. This newer raven represents the same spirit of determination, to reach goals which each new generation must set, and be known by.

Jonathan Stone, Challis Professor of Anatomy, 1987-2003