University anniversaries

75th anniversary, 1927

The Anniversary Appeal

The 75th Anniversary Appeal for £250,000 was launched on 8 July 1927 and concluded on 11 October 1928, the date of the 76th Anniversary.

The Appeal exceeded its target, raising a total of £345,378, and this was put to many uses.

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The information and descriptions below are from articles in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' in 1929 and 1930, courtesy of NLA Newspapers, and the 1927, 1928 and 1930 Senate Annual Reports.


"Thanksgiving Dinner", 11 October 1928

So successful was the dinner in the Great Hall to celebrate the University's 75th anniversary and the initiation of the appeal, that it was repeated on 11 October 1928 on the 76th birthday of the University. On this occasion it was called "Thanksgiving Dinner" in recognition of the response to the appeal.

The Thanksgiving Dinner on 11 October 1928 on the 76th birthday of the University.

The Thanksgiving Dinner in the Great Hall on Thursday 11 October 1928, photo, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 October 1928, National Library of Australia.

A speaker at the dinner made a confession. He said that when the appeal was first launched he feared that the objective adopted, £250,000, was altogether too ambitious, and that the University would be lucky if it obtained a fifth of that sum. This opinion was originally shared by many others. They are now constrained, with the most lively satisfaction, to bow their diminished heads in shame at their want of faith. The objective has been exceeded by £90,000.

Funds raised by the Appeal

After 31 December 1928 the first complete list of subscribers was presented to Senate, accompanied by a consolidated statement of donations received to date and certified by the University Auditors. Its total was £301,154, 13 shillings and two pence. The approximate amount on the subscription list itself, which included certain further contributions promised and, especially, the balance of endowment and bequest moneys still to be received, was £346,443. The cost of the appeal was approximatley 1.5% of the amounts already received.

Only a little more than £50,000 is available however for general purposes, such as the strengthening of other faculties and the improvement and upkeep of the grounds.

In all about £250,000, including the freehold of St James Chambers and the building (114-120 Castlereagh Street) and securities, had been or would be given by Mr George H Bosch for particular purposes:

  • founding the Chair of Histology and Embryology (£25,500)
  • purchasing apparatus for the Department of Anatomy (£1,500)
  • promoting the interests of medical teaching and training in the University; establishing full-time chairs in Medicine and Surgery; providing a chair of Bacteriology in the medical school; providing laboratories and equipment for the promotion of medical and surgical knowledge (£220,000)
Mr George H Bosch donated the freehold of St James Chambers, 114-120 Castlereagh St, for the appeal

Mr George H Bosch donated the freehold of St. James Chambers, 114-120 Castlereagh Street, for the appeal, photo, 'Sydney Morning Herald', 12 October 1928, courtesy NLA Newspapers.


Senate repeats its most grateful thanks to Mr George H Bosch and all the other subscribers, and to the press and public of NSW, as well as to the Executive Committee of the appeal, for the most noteworthy exhibition of public confidence and widespread sympathy and private generosity that the University has known in the whole course of its history.

At the same time the Senate must repeat the warning that it should be understood that the greater part of the new "Appeal" endowment is earmarked for a specific purpose, namely, the development of medical education, and that the University still needs money which can be spent, at the discretion of the Senate, on other faculties.

Results of the Appeal

The University of Sydney entered upon its 78th academic year under happy auspices:

  • The success of the appeal and generous benefactions received since the appeal closed have relieved it of the most pressing of the financial anxieties which until lately harassed it, and have enabled it to extend its activities. Previous Senates have been harassed by pressing financial anxieties. They have been confronted by the problem of making both ends meet. The situation has now substantially improved, and the new Senate will enter upon Its term less burdened with these cares.
  • Public health and tropical medicine have been elevated in status, and this department is now in charge of a full-time professor. Thanks to the generosity of Mr G H Bosch and others Sydney will have one of the finest medical schools in the world, a circumstance of which we should be proud.
  • The three chairs provided for by the second Bosch endowment have been filled: Professor Charles G Lambie (Medicine), Professor Harold R Dew (Surgery) and Professor Hedley D Wright (Bacteriology)
  • The University grounds, the condition of which was scarcely worthy of a great seat of learning, have been put in order. Towards the end of 1927 a beginning was made to put the Main Quadrangle in a proper condition. The four lawns have now been laid down with turf and the central pathways with flagstones. The whole appearance of the Quadrangle has thus been altered for the better. The undergraduates have responded to the appeal of the authorities by refraining from talking on the grass plots. The Senate hopes to have the whole of the University roads and grounds cleaned up and put in a state of decency by concentrating efforts over the whole area as time goes on. Professor E G Waterhouse is specially mentioned for his untiring efforts in giving advice and material help to the authorities.

LB