Honorary awards

William Lygon, Earl Beauchamp

The degree of Doctor of Laws* was conferred ad eundem gradum upon the Right Honourable Earl Beauchamp, KG KCMG PC, LLD, Chancellor of the University of London, by the Chancellor Sir William Cullen KCMG at a conferring of degrees ceremony held at 2.45pm on Tuesday 30 September 1930.

Earl Beauchamp was visiting Australia and New Zealand on a health trip. He had been Governor of NSW and Visitor to the University some 30 years earlier (1899 - 1900).

* As there was no provision in the University Act until 1952 for conferring of honorary degrees by the University of Sydney, the University awarded a number of degrees 'ad eundem gradum' - mostly Doctor of Laws - as a mark of special honour. Those who received this award included members of the Royal Family, Governors-General, distinguished soldiers and leaders of industry.

Earl Beauchamp

Earl Beauchamp and Deputy Chancellor Sir Mungo MacCallum, photo, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 October 1930, National Library of Australia.


From left, Deputy Chancellor Sir Mungo MacCallum, Vice-Chancellor Professor R S Wallace, the Governor Sir Philip Game, Chancellor Sir William Cullen, Earl Beauchamp and Dr Cecil Purser, photo, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 October 1930, National Library of Australia.


A special University War Memorial Carillon recital was given beforehand at 2.00pm in honour of the visit of Earl Beauchamp. The program was played by Mr J G Fletcher, Busby Musical Scholar and Honorary Carillonist, and consisted of University and folk songs, English melodies and classical music.

Following the conferring of degrees, Sir William Cullen introduced the Governor Sir Philip Game and the former the Governor Earl Beauchamp. Each of them he said had been responsible for verv encouraging utterances at a time when most Australians needed encouragement. Courage indeed, and constancy, should be everybody's motto just now. They should remember that they had a great people at their back. Britain was a great and proud nation, a nation to inspire enthusiasm. These were days when a University education was becoming harder to afford.

Earl Beachamp said in reply: I do hope it will be the last thing upon which Australians will economise. It is not an expenditure: it is an investment. Business firms in London are coming to realise more and more the advantages of university education, and men like Sir William Morris are suporting the universities. There is much that university teaching can do to help the businessman. In London, for example, we are just starting a school of business management in which we hope to train men who will conduct special research for some of the great businesses. Special studies like industrial psychology too will be more and more valuable as time goes on. The United States and Canada have long realised the importance of university education. In those countries the hospital is not more important an adjunct to the town than the university.

People today, Earl Beachamp said, needed to be taught that bookshops were more imprtant than dance clubs and the public life was just as important as private business. It would be argued of course that Australia was passing through a dark hour but he was not sure that the efforts of a university should not be greater in times of stress than in prosperity. History taught that economic trials were often accompanied by the greatest intellectual fervour. University education may well be like the lights at Sydney Heads: in tranquil times they shone serence but in a storm they could flash a message of comfort to those in distress.

From the 'Sydney Morning Herald', 1 October 1930