University anniversaries

The University of Sydney's Centenary celebrations, 1950 - 1952

The University of Sydney Centenary celebrations commenced in 1950.

The main University Centenary functions were held in August 1952 and marked the culmination of the celebrations. Their emphasis was on pageantry and scholarship. As with the Jubilee celebrations in 1902, the focus was the Ceremony of Presentation of Addresses by Delegates to the Centenary Celebrations on 27 August 1952.

On this webpage:


Click on links for details and more photos / Click on photos for enlargement.


Centenary program

7 June 1950:  A Public Meeting in the Town Hall launched the University's Centenary celebrations and Centenary Appeal for Funds 
6 October 1950: Commemoration Ceremony marked the centenary of the passage through the New South Wales legislature of the Act of Incorporation on 1 October 1850 - The Commemoration Oration was delivered by the Rt Hon R G Menzies, KC LLM MHR, Prime Minister of Australia
10 October 1950: Senate attended Parliament House where a Resolution of Congratulations was adopted
5 February 1951:  A Special Senate meeting celebrated the first Senate meeting held on 3 February 1851
10 October 1951: A Service of Commemoration of Benefactors 
Late 1951: Preliminary announcements in Latin of the University's intention to hold the main functions of its Centenary Celebrations in August 1952, were sent to over 150 Universities in the British Commonwealth, the United States of America, Europe, the Middle East, South America, Japan and South East Asia
26 August 1952: 5.00pm: A Reception at Government House by the Governor of NSW
  8.30pm: An Oration by Dr Ian Clunies Ross - "The responsibility of Science and the University in the Modern World"
27 August 1952: 11.00am: A Ceremony of Presentation of Addresses by Delegates to the Centenary Celebrations - some 70 delegates attended. Many Universities not represented sent congratulatory messages which together with the ones presented in person were displayed in the Fisher Library (now MacLaurin Hall) 
                                    12.45pm: A University Union Luncheon  for Delegates
  3.30pm: A Reception by the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Alderman E C O'Dea, at the Town Hall
  7.00pm: A University Dinner in the Refectory of the University Union
28 August 1952: 2.30pm: The Centenary Oration given by the Chief Justice of NSW
  4.00pm: A Garden Party in the Quadrangle for staff, graduates and friends of the University
  7.00pm: A Senate Dinner for Delegates in the Refectory of the University Union, and a Women's Union Dinner  for wives of Fellows of Senate and wives of delegates in Manning House
29 August 1952: 11.00am: A Ceremony of Conferring of Honorary Degrees in the Great Hall 
30 August 1952:  10.00am - 5.00pm: The University Open Day
31 August 1952:  11.00am: Church Services in the City for members, students and friends of the University 
  3.00pm: A Special University Service in Pitt Street Congregational Church

Centenary gallery

1950

Public Meeting in the Town Hall

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor S H Roberts, addressing the meeting in the Town Hall on 7 June 1950 which launched the University's Centenary celebrations and Centenary Appeal for Funds, photo, University of Sydney Archives

The Commemoration Oration delivered by the Prime Minister

The Commemoration Oration was delivered by the Rt Hon R G Menzies, KC LLM MHR, Prime Minister of Australia, on 6 October 1950, Sydney Morning Herald photo, copies held by the University of Sydney Archives.

The resolution of congratulation in the Legislative Council.

The Chancellor Sir Charles Bickerton Blackburn and members of Senate receiving the resoluton of congratulation in the Legislative Council on 10 October 1950. The Hon R R Downing MLC is proposing the motion, photo, courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald, in The Gazette, October 1950, University of Sydney Archives.

Centenary Celebrations Organising Committee

The Centenary Celebrations Organising Committee, photo, "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.

1951

Special Senate meeting, 5 February 1951

Special Senate meeting, 5 February 1951, Sydney Morning Herald photo, copies held by the University of Sydney Archives.

1952

The University of Southampton

Message from The University of Southampton for the Ceremony of Presentation of Address by Delegates on 27 August 1952, University of Sydney Archives.

The Centenary Oration by The Honourable K W Street on 28 August 1952

The Centenary Oration delivered by The Honourable K W Street, Lieutenant-Governor and Chief Justice of New South Wales on 28 August 1952, Sydney Morning Herald photo, copies held by the University of Sydney Archives.

Senate dinner for Delegates, 28 August 1952

The Senate dinner for delegates in the Refectory of the University Union on 28 August 1952, Sydney Morning Herald photo, copies held by the University of Sydney Archives.

Some recipients

Some of the recipients of honorary degrees conferred on 29 August 1952 as part of the University's Centenary celebrations, including the Right Honourable William Morris Hughes (left), Martin McIlrath, Lieutenant-General Sir Iven Giffard Mackay, The Right Honourable Robert Gordon Menzies, The Right Honourable Sir George Edward Rich and The Honourable Kenneth Whistler Street, Sydney Morning Herald photo, copies held by the University of Sydney Archives.