Honorary awards

The Right Honourable Stanley Melbourne Bruce

The degree of Doctor of Laws* was conferred ad eundem gradum upon the Prime Minister of Australia, the Right Honourable Stanley Melbourne Bruce by the Chancellor Sir William Cullen at a conferring of degrees ceremony held in the Great Hall at 11.00am on Saturday 24 April 1926.

* 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.

Stanley Melbourne Bruce

Moving to the Great Hall, from left: Stanley Melbourne Bruce followed by Vice-Chancellor Professor Mungo McCallum and Fellow of Senate Judge Backhouse, and at rear are Chancellor Sir William Cullen and the Esquire Bedell, Lieutenant-Colonel R J A Massie, carrying the mace, photo from the Western Mail, 20 May 1926, NLA Newspapers.


Those present included the Governor, Sir Dudley de Chair.

Mr Bruce received a remarkable ovation.

In the course of his address, the Chancellor said: 'I want to assure Mr Bruce, too, of the down right sincerity with which we greet him. He bears an honoured and a trusted name, both here and abroad. Wherever I went on my recent tour, I found that people knew a great deal about our Prime Minister. We feel that our University has been a gainer from his efforts to bind closer together the Universities of the different States. To-day a wonderful feeling of co-operation is abroad. Surely this is only right, for we are all as one striving for the betterment of Australia and the world.'

Mr Bruce said that he appreciated in the highest degree the honour that had been paid him. He appreciated in the highest degree also the high responsibility which political office brought in its train. The Chancellor had happily stressed not so much the academic aspect as the character building aspect of the University. The whole progress of the State, industrial, political and ethical, depended in some degree on the University's research. This was our period of building in Australia and he trusted that we were laying the foundation of a great nation, so that generations yet unborn might justify the courage and faith of the pioneers, who had built the magnificent hall, they were sitting in.

From The Brisbane Courier, 26 April 1926