Honorary awards

Robert Stevenson Aitken

The honorary degree of Doctor of Science was conferred upon Robert Stevenson Aitken by the Chancellor Sir Charles Bickerton Blackburn KCMG OBE at the ceremony held on 29 August 1952, part of the University of Sydney's Centenary celebrations.

Robert Stevenson Aitken, MD NZ DPhil Oxf Hon LLD Dalhousie, FRCP Lond FRCP Edin FRACP, was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago.

Robert Stevenson Aitken

Professorial Board Chairman Professor A D Trendall (on left) presenting Robert Stevenson Aitken (centre left) to the Chancellor Sir Charles Bickerton Blackburn (centre right), Sydney Morning Herald photo, copies held by the University of Sydney Archives.


Presented by the Chairman of the Professorial Board Professor A D Trendall:

Mr Chancellor, it is a happy turn of Fortune's wheel which has given to me today the privilege of presenting to you the Vice-Chancellor of my own alma mater - the University of Otago - to which, in the first instance at least,
..... I owe
All that I am in Arts, all that I know.

This is accordingly an occasion from which I derive a twofold satisfaction, since the conferring of this Degree honours not only a man of great distinction in one of the highest fields of human endeavour, but also the senior academic foundation of our sister dominion of New Zealand.

The all-round excellence of Robert Stevenson Aitken's university career is shown by his having been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, and he, if anyone, has amply fulfilled the lofty aims of their founder, for, after holding a succession of important medical posts in Great Britain, including the Regius Chair of Medicine at the University of Aberdeen, he returned from Scotland a few years ago to place his talents at the service of his native land as guardian of the destinies of a University, which itself owes so much to the sound educational tradition of its Scottish founders. When I add that his success as an administrator is matched by his skill as an orator, you will readily understand why he won the respect and admiration of all Otago's alumni.

Mr Chancellor, it is with particular pleasure that I present to you Robert Stevenson Aitken, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago.

From "The University of Sydney Centenary Celebrations August 26 - August 31, 1952" compiled by the Office of Information and Public Relations. Allan Gamble, Information and Public Relations Officer.