University anniversaries

Centenary 1950-1952

Special Meeting of Senate, 5 February 1951

The University of Sydney Centenary celebrations commenced in 1950 and commemorated various important phases in the foundation of the University.

A Special Senate meeting was held at 3.45pm on Monday 5 February 1951 in the Senate Room at the University of Sydney in celebration of the first Senate meeting held on 3 February 1851. The meeting was held in the presence of the Official Visitor to the University, His Excellency the Governor of New South Wales, Lieutenant-General Sir John Northcott, KCMG CB MVO. There was a carillon recital before the meeting commenced.

List of those present at the meeting.

The Right Hon Dr H V Evatt

The Right Hon Dr H V Evatt proposes the Resolution of Congratulation, Sydney Morning Herald photo, copies held by the University of Sydney Archives.

Opening the Special Senate meeting, by the Chancellor, Sir Charles Bickerton Blackburn

Your Excellencv, Your Honour Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. President of the University of Technology, Fellow members of the Senate, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I would like to mention how disappointed we are that, owing to a family bereavement, the Honourable the Premier, Mr. McGirr, who was looking forward to being here this afternoon, is unable to be present. I had that message from the Premier, and it so happens that, because of an important meeting of Cabinet, no member of the Government has been able to be present. I am sure we are all disappointed.

It is always a great pleasure to welcome not only you, Sir, our Official Visitor, but all visitors to the University. It is particularly gratifying to know that in this Senate Room today there are descendants of the first Fellows of the Senate and also descendants of the first students to enrol at the University. Owing to the limited space available the gathering has had to be a small one, but its composition is such that it will add dignity and importance to a simple ceremony, planned to commemorate the first meeting of the Senate on the third day of February, 1851, almost exactly a hundred years ago today.

Before adverting to the actual meeting of the Senate, some reference should, I think, be made to its constitution, which had been expressly provided for in the Act of Incorporation that was commemorated in the Great Hall in October of last year. As the Act made it obligatory that a Senate, to consist of 16 members, should be nominated within three months, the date of the Proclamation of the appointments was only just within the prescribed time. A copy of the Proclamation, with the list of appointments, appears on page five of your programmes.

To anyone at all familiar with the history of New South Wales in the middle of the last century the list is a most impressive one, and is an indication of the great importance His Excellency obviously attached to insuring that the new University would be established on sound foundations. On the list are the names of many of those who were playing the leading parts in the political and industrial life of the country at that vital period, when it was on the eve of passing from Dominion status to the stature of a virtually self-governing unit of the empire, and we can well believe that it was with considerable reluctance that some of them, so immersed in urgent national problems, shouldered new responsibilities.

It will surely be of interest to you, and it will at the same time be an appropriate mark of respect to those whose services we are commemorating, to briefly indicate the qualifications for selection of each person whose name appears on the list:

  • The Reverend William Binnington Boyce, a leader in the Wesleyan Church, was a noted linguist.
  • Edward Broadhurst, Q.C., the father of the New South Wales Bar, was a noted classical scholar.
  • John Bayley Darvall, M.A. (Cambridge), Q.C., afterwards K.C.M.G., was a member of the Legislative Council, and later Solicitor-General and Attorney General.
  • Stuart Alexander Donaldson, a leading merchant and a member of the Legislative Council, was destined to be the Premier of the first New South Wales ministry under responsible government in 1857.
  • The Right Reverend Charles Henry Davis was the Roman Catholic Bishop Coadjutor to Archbishop Polding.
  • Alfred Denison, B.A., was a distinguished private citizen.
  • Edward Hamilton, M.A., who had been fifth Wrangler at Cambridge, had pastoral interests and was soon elected as its first Provost.
  • James Macarthur was a member of the family so famous for their development of the pastoral industry. His descendants later added" Onslow" to their name.
  • Francis Lewis Shaw Merewether, B.A., was Auditor-General.
  • Charles Nicholson, M.D., was Speaker of the Legislative Council and later created a Baronet.
  • Bartholomew O'Brien, M. D., was a practising doctor.
  • The Bon. John Hubert Plunkett, Q.C., was Attorney General.
  • The Reverend William Purves was a Presbyterian minister.
  • His Honour Roger Therry, a member of the Irish Bar, was a judge in Port Phillip.
  • The Honourable Deas Thomson was Colonial Secretary, afterwards K.C.M.G., and Chancellor of the Universlty from 1865 to 1878.
  • William Charles Wentworth, M.A., needs no introduction.

As the list has been traversed it will not have passed unnoticed that on it are names of families conspicuous for the continuity of their national service since the clays of their founders. Wentworths, Darvalls, Macarthur-Onslows, and Merewethers are well known to have many claims for public recognition other than their proud ancestry. It is not so well known that a grandson and great-grandson of the Reverend Boyce became professors of philosophy in Melbourne; that the eldest son of Sir Stuart Donaldson was Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge Universitv; that another son was the first Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, while a third son became Sir Hay Donaldson, a famous engineer, who went down with Kitchener in the First Great War; also that the eldest son of Sir Charles Nicholson became a famous ecclesiastical architect, and that the present holder of the title is a noted musician.

Now that you are more familiar with the Fellows of the Senate, we can direct our attention to their first meeting, a copy of the minutes of which you will find on page seven of your programmes. It will be noted that the Speaker of the Legislative Council - Charles Nicholson - made his chambers available for the meeting, and it may be mentioned that the Senate meeting continued to be held there until the University went into temporary occupancy of the Sydney College - now the Sydney Grammar School - in the following year. It will probably have also been already noticed that there were only eleven Fellows present. Though this is rather surprising, it was quite possibly due to the realization that the business transacted at the first meeting would be more or less that of a planning committee, preparing a programme of business to be dealt with at the next meeting.

The business, however, was not all planning, for after William Charles Wentworth had been called to the Chair there were two items of correspondence to be dealt with.

The chief interest attaching to Dr. D. A. Mackaen's letter is that, while it is the first item dealt with by the Senate in its hundred years of activity, there is probably no other matter recorded in the minutes about which we have so little information. We have no idea as to the capacity in which the services were being offered and we do not know what reply, if any, was sent. The only other piece of information we could uncover about the writer is a note about the librarv, which records that the first step taken to build up a University library was to purchase a number of dictionaries and other works from the library of the Reverend Dr. Mackaen at a cost of £97 8s. 6d., a goodly sum in those days. After that, so far as the University is concerned, the worthy doctor passed into oblivion.

As regards the other item of correspondence, no more is known of the contents of the " Memorial from certain qualified members of the Medical Profession complaining that the Medical Profession was not adequately represented in the Senate", nor of its disposal, than appears in the minutes. As, however, no reference was made to it at any subsequent meeting of the Senate, it is reasonable to suppose that the memorial met with a chilly reception. A casual reader would probably conclude that, as the selection of the Senate could hardly be expected to be based on Faculty representation, and as there were two M.D.'s among the sixteen Fellows, the medical profession had little cause for complaint. On the other hand anyone familiar with the social life of Sydney at that period would suspect that there was a good deal more under the surface than was evident in the memorial, and would have little doubt that the Fellows of the Senate knew perfectly well what it was.

To explain what it was all about will involve traversing a rather wide historical field, covering facts in the history of universities in general, in the very early history of our own University in particular, and in the class distinction that dominated social life in the Colony at that time. Ostensibly no doubt the letter purported to be a protest that the Medical Faculty had only two representatives on the Senate, while the Faculties of Arts and Law were each represented by four Fellows. Had this been the true reason, it could well have been based upon an age-long inter-Faculty rivalry, in which the two liberal professions were historically ranged against Medicine, representing the then rather frowned-on Science. It will be remernbered that in the early Universities there were four Schools - Theology, Philosophy, Law and Medicine. As in those days the Church, representing the Holy See, held the reins, no definite Theological Faculty developed, for every student had to take Holy Orders and include Theology in his studies, but the other three Schools became the Faculties of Arts, Law and Medicine. The first two, closely related in the nature of their studies, rather naturally tended to combine forces against Medicine and as Universities passed from religious to secular control, this control became largely vested in representatives of the Faculties of Arts and Law.

When William Charles Wentworth, M.A., brought his first University Bill before the Legislative Council in October, 1849, he suggested a Senate to consist of twelve members, and laid stress upon the necessity for excluding clergymen from all share in the management of the institution. This raised a storm of protest from all religious bodies and as a result Wentworth, when he brought in his second Bill a year later, consented to add four to the original number of twelve Senators to permit of the nomination of clergymen of four denominations. Actually when the list was gazetted there were only three clergymen on it.

A hundred years ago Science, as represented by Medicine, was still the University Cinderella, and doctors, having witnessed the successes of the churches in resisting the attempt to oust them, could quite plausibly complain that their profession was being slighted, when only two of its members were among the remaining thirteen nominees. Actually there is good reason to think that the true basis of the memorial was not so much the slighting of the whole profession, but of a particular member, whose colleagues, and a very large section of the public, regarded as outstandingly suitable to assist in guiding the destinies of the University.

This doctor was not only a leading member of his profession, but one of the most popular, energetic and valuable citizens of the Colony. He had been for many years deeply interested in educational problems and had been one of the founders, and the first secretary of the Sydney College and had later succeeded the Chief Justice, Sir Francis Forbes, as president. His choice had seemed so obvious that Wentworth had included his name in the Senate of twelve that he nominated when he moved the second reading of his first University Bill in 1849. From the University point of view, it is of great historical interest that it was the inclusion of this name that wrecked the Bill and delayed the establishment of the University for a year. As soon as the name was announced certain members, led bv William Lowe, afterwards Lord Sherbrooke, strongly protested and the resulting debate was so heated that it was carried on with closed doors. So much unpleasantness resulted that a few days later the Bill lapsed for want of a quorum.

The trouble arose over the fact that the doctor had been exiled from England for taking part in a duel in which the other contestant had been killed. Unfortunately he had been a naval officer, and at that time, though duelling had been made a penal offence, it was still clandestinely regarded in the Navy as the only honourable way of settling a quarrel. Thus an officer, when challenged, was in a most invidious position. If he refused to fight his reputation was tarnished and he was branded as a coward, while if he fought and killed his man he became a criminal. This officer, having killed his man, had had to go into exile, but he had led so exemplary a life that his misdemeanour had been quite forgiven till Robert Lowe, who, we have it on the authority of Wentworth himself, had a venomous tongue, branded him as an ex-convict and social outcast. The affair had caused a great public outcry at the tirne, the great majority of the people, still regarding duelling as a very venial offence and the contestants as heroes rather than as criminals, siding with the doctor. No doubt many hoped that the Governor-in-Council, when he had the opportunity a year later, would make amends by including the name in the new list, and it would appear from the gossip of the time that the doctors' memorial was regarded as a thinly veiled protest against his failing to do so.

Item three of these minutes of the first Senate meeting, which was concerned with planning the business for the next meeting, affords little occasion for comment, other than perhaps to note that the titular head of the University and his deputy were at this stage called Provost and Vice-Provost respectively. This was so until a University Amendment Act was passed in 1860, when the titles were changed to Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor.

As regards the last paragraph of item three, I have already mentioned that subsequent meetings of the Senate until some time in the following year continued to be held in the chambers of the Speaker of the Legislative Council, Charles Nicholson. However, the present-day Chancellor may well feel grateful that he is not called upon to "write a circular to the Fellows severally informing them of the business to be brought forward at the next meeting" as Mr. Wentworth, the Chairman, undertook to do. The present Fellows, on the other hand, inured to sitting at a late hour, might well feel envious of their predecessors, who could look to disposing of their business between noon and lunch time.

The adjournment of the meeting brings to a natural close this introduction in which I have endeavoured in some measure to re-create the atmosphere and environment in which it was held a hundred years ago.

I have now much pleasure in calling upon the Right Honourable Dr. Evatt to propose the Resolution of Congratulation.

Proposing the Resolution of Congratulation, by The Right Honourable Dr. Herbert Vere Evatt

Mr. Chancellor, Your Excellency, Your Honour Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. Wurth, Fellow Members of the Senate, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I have the honour to propose, for adoption by the Senate, the following resolution:

  • 1. That this meeting of the Senate on 5th February, 1951, mindful of the outstanding role played by the University of Sydney during the hundred years which have passed since the first meeting of the Senate, held on 3rd February, 1851, places on record its grateful comrnemoration of the historic services of the original founders of our University.
  • 2. The Senate also records the contributions of all those who have carried on the noble traditions of the founders, whether in the office of Chancellor, senator, University officer, professor or lecturer, graduate or student.
  • 3. We further record with legitimate pride the gradual confirmation during the century of the faith so courageously proclaimed by Wentworth, as he foresaw, " a long list of illustrious names of statesmen, of patriots, of philanthropists, of philosophers, of poets and of heroes, who would shed a deathless halo, not only on their country, but upon that University which called them into being ".
  • 4. Having regard to the recent expansion both of responsibilities and opportunities, we express our profound conviction that during the second century of its existence the University of Sydney will make an even greater contribution to the life and well-being of the State and of the Australian nation.

Mr. Chancellor, you have referred, sir, to the Senate and its constitution and its first meeting. I think I might add one or two remarks to amplify what you have said. I would first of all refer to the extraordinary speech of Wentworth himself, when he was supporting the original Bill in the Legislative Council. That speech is reported in the third person, in the form of that day, but one can see even through the quaint phrasing of the report what an oration that great statesman must have delivered on that momentous occasion. This is the language of the report:

  • "He saw in this measure the facility given to the child of every mall, of every class, to become great and useful in the destinies of his country. He saw in this measure the path opened to the poor man to the highest position which the country could afford him. So far from this being an institution for the rich, he took it to be an institution for the poor ... and if it resulted in no higher achievement than the preparation of the youth of the Colony for the departments of the Government, the money it asked for would be well applied.
  • "He believed this would be the crowning Act of the deeds of the Council, or he migbt say in the words of Oliver Cromwell, he believed it would be the crowning mercy of the Council. He believed it to be a measure to test the philanthropy and patriotism of the Council - a test by which they might securely abide. So long as this institution should exist they would not be forgotten; so long as it flourished their memory would not decay.
  • "He looked upon this measure as more important than all they had heretofore done in that House. They had passed laws, but these laws might be altered - might in the change of fleeting circumstances be swept away; but this measure, this which was to enlighten the mind, to refine the understanding and to elevate their fellowmen - this of all their acts, contained the germ of immortality. This he trusted would live - would live to commemorate the Council who passed it."

And then follow the words which I have endeavoured to embody in the resolution I am proposing to the Senate, that he trusted, "That from the pregnant womb of this institution would arise a long list of illustrious names - of statesmen, of patriots, of philanthropists, of philosophers, of poets and of heroes, who would shed a deathless halo, not only on their country, but upon that University which called them into being."

Then, later on, at the inauguration ceremony of the Universitv, Sir Charles NichoIson, in his speech on that occasion, makes a reference to the immortal Wentworth, which I think it is only proper to note. Sir Charles said:

  • "At a moment, then, when the colony in her onward progress was developing with unprecedented rapidity a political and social organization, and assimilating to herself day by day the lineaments of the parent state; at a period when the necessity was becoming more and more urgent for educating our youth to the duties of the high citizenship many of them will soon be called upon to exercise, was the measure entered upon for founding this great seminary, I think I hear the voice of one honourable and learned member, on witnessing the achievement of the great design with which his name will be ever associated, saying to the conntry of his birth, and to the land that will long own him as the most gifted of her sons: 'Behold an institution consecrated to the noblest purposes, provided for you and your children. Accept, preserve, defend the sacred trust. (A possession forever) let it be to you and to them an everlasting inheritance. And let us carry the mind's eye onward to a period when this Colony shall have acquired the form and the proportions of an empire; when the events of this age shall have become obscured by time, and circumstances which belong to our history may have the same relation to the future which those of the Heptarchy have to this era. Then, when all the busy tumult that now agitates us shall have passed away and become obliterated in the great gulf of time, one event will stand forth in bold relief signalizing the age and the men who now live. As Oxford has been associated for a thousand years with the name of Alfred, so may the names of our illustrious Sovereign, and of her representative be perpetuated and remembered and honoured for ages to come in connection with that of the University of Sydney.' "

Mr. Chancellor, these quotations from Wentworth himself and from Nicholson give some small idea of the measure of greatness of those who were associated with the founding of our beloved University. I need not refer further, by way of quotation, from what was said at the early meetings of the University; but I should mention one matter, because I think it is something which has inspired the teaching staff of the University from the earliest days, and that is the reference to the first Professor of Classics, Doctor Woolley. These are words of Dr. Woolley, spoken in a lecture at the Sydney School of Arts in the year 1854:

  • .. , Ye are my wings', said Niebuhr to his class at Bonn; and those who have sat at the feet of a Niebuhr, a Guizot, an Arnold, a Sedgwick, a Faraday, can witness in what a flood of light and enjoyment the soul is bathed, how admiration, persuasion, conviction, generous resolution, dart electric flashes from the lecturer into the breasts of his hearers, and kindle a fire never to be extinguished. Many a time in after years, the flagging zeal, the jaded intellect is refreshed and new strung by transient visions of that old delight, and the well remembered look brightens the dull page and animates the speechless letters, which, also, as Plato says, stand before us in motionless solemnity, unable either to relieve our perplexity or to vindicate the true intentions of their father."

And so from the eloquence of the truth contained in those few sentences can be judged the calibre of the teachers with whom this University started its existence, which has now completed up to the span of one hundred years.

Mr. Chancellor, it is impossible to refer in detail to the speeches and works of those great men. There was Badham, a man of matchless scholarship, whose coming to Australia caused a great stir in Bntain, seeing what a loss it sustained when Australia gained Badham. We have only to think of his work outside the University, his struggle to have the system of bursaries established, and his association with Mr. George Reid, as he then was, in the establishment of evening lectures at this University -those lectures which have constituted so great a blessing for working people in this State.

Then there is the list of the Chancellors - one only has to look at their names to call up in his mind the record of their virtues and their great qualities. There are Hamilton, Nicholson - to whom I have referred already - Merewether, Deas Thomson, Manning - and we see a descendant of Manning here today - Windeyer - and it is delightful to see Mr Richard Windeyer in this room now -Normand MacLaurin, who was succeeded in the Chancellorship by Sir William Cullen. Then came MacCallum and Halse Rogers; and then the very distinguished Chancellor who worthily stands in that list of great men who have done honour to the University and given great service to all associated with it.

Has not the prophecy of Wentworth proved true? We have had graduates like Griffith and Barton and O'Connor, men distinguished not only in their State but throughout Australia and throughout the Empire, honoured justices of the High Court of the Commonwealth. And then we have all the list of great judges in New South Wales, so many of whom have played an important part in the history of the University.

And, after all, sir. what is a University? I suggest that perhaps the best definition is that of John Henry Cardinal Newman, who put it in these words:

  • "Such is a University. It is a place which attracts the affections of the young by its fame, wins the judgement of the middle-aged by its beauty and rivets the memory of the old by its associations. It is a seat of wisdom, a light of the world, and Alma Mater of the rising generation."

Mr. Chancellor, our Universitv is always striving to be this and to be this more and more. The developments of this century have been immense. One thinks of the growing - and how enormous - importance of women in the life of the University, and how that development took place after some opposition and how at the end of the struggle we are seeing the great benefits conferred on the University bv the influence of women. We see the establishment of their college amongst the other colleges, and what it has meant and means to the University.

Then, think of all our colleges aod establishments here, not only the learned societies but the magnificent sport clubs and associations of this University, which have been an inspiration, not only to every graduate but to everybody in this city, State and Commonwealth, who is really interested in sport.

Then, today, we think particularly of the Union and the part played by the Senate in connexion with it; and not only in the original Union, but in the re-established Union, with which the honoured names of men like E. R. Holme will ever be gratefully associated. Then on this day also, we naturallv think of the enormous figures of membership, which 30 years ago could not have ever been imagined.

We call to mind the great officers of the University, Barff and Dallen (from whose works on the University I have now several times quoted in the course of my remarks this afternoon), the Chancellors and the professors. I cannot help too, Mr. Chancellor, calling to mind particularly the beloved teachers at whose feet I had the honour of tasting the cup of wisdom. I have mentioned Barff and Dallen as great officers of the University, and I am delighted to see back in our midst, at the table of the Senate todav, our very old friend Walter Selle, for so long Registrar of this University, and who performed magnificently for it. And, Mr. Chancellor, it is pleasing also to see Sir Robert Wallace with us this afternoon and to recognize his great services to the University.

As I have said, I cannot, on this great occasion, but have present to my mind the beloved teachers whose student I was at this seat of learning: E. R Holme, to whom I have already referred; MacCallum - how long it would take to record his work for the Universitv! - Todd and Francis Anderson, Carslaw and Pollock, Wood and Vonwiller, Lovell and many others! His Honour the Chief Justice would himself recollect the University's great teachers of the profession of law, men like Pitt Cobbett, Peden and Charteris.

Mr. Chancellor, the truth is that in these hundred years, as you have indicated, there has been very great development. The Colony of New South Wales has become, in a sense, something of an Empire; certainly Australia has, with its responsibilities no longer merely national, but international in character; and playing their part in the process we have seen these great men, inspired by the spirit which is enshrined in the words of Wentworth, and has gone through the whole of the officers of the University, through the Chancellors, their assistants and deputies, through tbe teaching staff, right down to every graduate and undergraduate of the University. I refer to the undergraduates, because perhaps that is the body to which we must look, and Australia must look, in the future.

In speaking to this resolution, which I am putting before you, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I refer again to the words of Wentworth. He foresaw:

  • "That from the pregnant womb of this institution would arise a long list of illlustrious names - of statesmen, of patriots, of philanthropists, of philosophers, of poets and of heroes, who would shed a deathless halo, not only on their country, but upon that University which called them into being."

And the University has its statesmen, its patriots, its philanthropists and philosophers. Of its poets I need onlv mention men like Chris. Brennan and Le Gay Brereton. It has its heroes - we cannot but remember in commemorating these hundred years of its existence all those heroes who gave their lives for us, who fell in the First World War and in the Second World War.

All that Wentworth said has proved true; perhaps it is better to say it has become true, because it does represent the fruition of the noble ideals of a great University. And as these great founders had to look back to Oxford and the older universities, we can see in the motto chosen by them a yearning for the homeland and at the same lime a determination to make their new home worthy of the old home. And so, in the University of Sydney, I think it is true to say that their ideals have been substantially carried out, substantiallv realized, to affirm, in the words of the Universitv motto, Sidere mens eadem mutato.
I have the honour to propose the Resolution of Congratulation.

The Chancellor then asked Dr. C. G. McDonald to second the Resolution.

Seconding the Resolution, by Dr C G McDonald

Mr. Chancellor, Your Excellency, Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. Wurth, Fellows of the Senate, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I have the great honour of seconding the Resolution of Congratulation just moved by Dr. Evatt.

We commemorate today the first meeting of the Senate held on the first Monday of February exactly one hundred years ago under the Chairmanship of William Charles Wentworth. One of the members of the first Senate, Roger Therry, a judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, records in his Reminiscences as "most creditable to the colonists that they devoted the first fruits of the wealth revealed to them by the discovery of gold to the endowment of this noble institution", and he quotes with approval from the speeches of Sir Charles Nicholson and Professor Woolley at the formal opening of the University on 11th October, 1852.

Another writer of the period, the golden-mouthed orator, Daniel H. Deniehy, was not so enthusiastic. With Celtic wrath he inveighed against "the big toy in carved stone that, as in mockery and derision of its lofty object, is perched away at Grose Farm, away from everybody but those who like Thurtell's 'respectable man' can drive thither in 'a gig' or can spare the hours snatched from earning daily bread to trudge backwards and forwards from the main quarters of the city to the embouchure of the Parramatta Road ". Not did he approve entirely of the constitution of the Senate of those days. "A gentleman" he wrote, "was some time since elected a Fellow of the University here upon no other ground than that of his enormous wealth" - a grave charge of which the present goyerning body is, unhappily, guiltless. The first Senate showed a delicacy of sentiment not immediately noticeable in the present members of that body. In my copy of what I take to be the first Calendar of the University, published in 1854, the Vice-Provost promises a medal for the best rendering in Latin elegaics of a given English poem, and his choice falls on the captivating strains of " Believe me, if all those endearing young charms". No Vice-Chancellor in this prosaic age would act so daringly without courting suspicion.

For some years the new University languished. Although the first batch of matriculants in 1852 numbered 24, only a few proceeded to their degree, and ten years later, although a record roll of 16 students graduated, only nine others passed the matriculation examination. Professor Butler records that "so few indeed were the students for some time that an impudent member of the Legislative Assembly threw it up as a reproach to Mr. W. C. Windeyer, M.A., when he was a member of that body, that his degree had cost the country £100,000, and expressed a doubt whether it was worth the price". The reference, of course, was to the cost of the Gothic facade to the main building in which we now stand and of the Great Hall yonder, whose lovely lines of stone, designed by Blackett, had been completed in 1859.

In its hundred years of history the University has been blessed with a long line of distinguished teachers. Beginning with Woolley, Pen and Smith, of whom the greatest was Woolley, we were soon to claim from Edgbaston near Birminghan, where he was headmaster of a school of little importance, a man whose relation to English classical scholarship of the nineteenth century was little less than that of Parson to the eighteenth. Charles Badham had only gained a third dass in honours on graduation at Oxford in the same year in which Woolley had won a first, but in the years that followed his fame as the foremost Greek philologist and textual critic of his time was recognized everywhere but in his own native land. When Woolley died in January, 1866, on board the SS London as it foundered in the Bay of Biscay, Badham was appointed to the Chair of Classics, arriving here the following year and dominating
the intellectual life of this institution till his death on 27th February 1884. This patriarchal figure whose portrait towers over the gallery of distinguished men in the Great Hall was so famous as a scholar that an English Greek philologist of distinction sought and received, not long since, appointment to the Professorship of Greek in this University, apparently for the sole purpose of being able to say that he had sat in Badham's chair; and having sat for a short time, he somewhat precipitately departed.

But, if Badham is our greatest boast, it can be said that in our short story of one hundred years we have had many teachers with claims to greatness, whether it be for the depth of their learning, the quality of their teaching, their vision as builders and organizers, the strong influence of their personalities, or a happy admixture of these. In this connexion mention should I think be made of Pell, Walter Scott, Wood, Francis Anderson and most certainly MacCallum in the Faculties of Arts and Science, Pitt Cobbett and Peden in Law, Anderson Stuart and Wilson in Medicine and Warren in Engineering. There are a few others yet alive to whose past labours in our halls of learning and past achievements of administration the University is greatly
indebted.

Our forbears did wisely in building this University on the foundation of a Faculty of Arts. Therein they followed the ancient models of Oxford and Cambridge. The professional schools were slow in forming, their advent being hastened by the lavish generosity of Challis, who in 1880 left his vast wealth unconditionally to the University. In that year the medical school opened for the teaching of anatomy and physiology. Two years later the Faculty of Science was created, provision being made for instruction in engineering within a department of this faculty. The first Professor of Law was appointed in 1890 and in 1896 the gift of £50,000 by Peter Nicol Russell led to the establishment of a separate department of engineering and its ultimate transition into one of the most important facuIties of the University. Veterinary science and dentistry had similar but later developments. The opening of the professional schools led to a great increase in the number of students in attendance at lectures. Whereas these totalled only 45 in 1872, the numbers had swollen to 600 by 1892, increases thereafter being slower till a veritable avalanche of students descended on the University in the years following the recent War.

That so many of these are in pursuit of technical efficiency in some profession which they have chosen for their life's work would have appalled teachers of the last century who never tired of proclaiming that the University's function was to impart liberal and general knowledge and in the words of the original Act of Incorporation to ascertain by means of examination the persons who shall acquire proficiency in literature, science and art. But few these days would go as far as Woollev, who maintained that " the soundest lawyers come forth from schools in which law is never taught; the most accomplished physicians are nurtured where medicine is but a name". The speeding tempo of modern life and the bewildering advances in applied science that have made this century so entirely different from its predecessors have led to a compulsory adjustment of the ideas that were born of more leisurely and happier times. All of us will, however, heartily agree with Woollev who expressed almost in the next breath another thought: "From these walls, we will dare to hope, will go forth statesmen, not merely of prescription or expediency, but believing that the practice of life may be regulated by fixed and eternal principles; lawyers, not merely indexes of a statutory code; physicians whose knowledge is not confined to the constitution of the body and the phenomena of disease; scholars, finally, who will neither neglect nor abuse the sacred gift which they have, received; received not for their own pleasure or improvement, but for the enlightening and instruction of all."

Today, Mr. Chancellor, we commemorate happily not only those governors of the Universitv who have gone before us, not only the illustrious professors and lecturers and administrators who have borne the burden and the heat of the University's activities, but equally with them those that are not wand-bearers - the large bodies of graduates who year by year depart from our cloisters to play their parts in the external world. They have a conmunion of interest which no separation can destroy. It was for them that the University was made and it is they who carry into the highways and byways the spirit and learning of their teachers as if by torches lit at a central flame. It was these whom the great Wentworth had in mind when with other social and political leaders he founded this city built on a hill. Let the sons and daughters of the University know that wherever they be, in classroom, laboratory or pulpit, in the courts or the consulting room, in office or workshop, or down in the mines of the earth, their Alma Mater remembers with affection that mental nourishment with which she fed them and which is the true meaning of education.

To you, sir, distinguished holder of the lofty office held by manv Chancellors before you, we, your fellow members of the Senate, offer also our measure of congratulation. It is fitting that this centennial meeting of our governing body should be presided over by one who in his record of service to his country, in general and special scholarship, in dignity of bearing and in the affection in which members of the University hold him, has long since been acclaimed one of the greatest of our Chancellors. May that fertile mind and active body long defy the revolving years and be preserved for the great advantage of the University.

I have much pleasure in seconding the Resolution.

(The Resolution of Congratulation was then put and carried unanimously.)


Information

Minutes of the Special Meeting, University of Sydney Archives


LB