University anniversaries

Sesquicentenary 1999-2002

Sesquicentenary Senate Dinner, 3 February 2001

The University of Sydney Sesquicentenary celebrations commenced in 1999 and commemorated various important phases in the foundation of the University.

As part of the University of Sydney's sesquicentenary celebrations, a formal dinner was held on 3 February 2001 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first meeting of Senate on 3 February 1851.

The dinner was an opportunity to pay tribute to past and present members of the Senate and their contributions to the life and development of the University, and also to acknowledge the work of former Chancellors, Deputy Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors.

Following drinks in the Quadrangle, the Fellows of the Senate were fanfared into the Great Hall by the Conservatorium Band and the formal dinner proceeded with Chief Justice Murray Gleeson as Guest Speaker.

The organist Amy Johansen played the organ as background music during the evening.

A commemorative medals displaying the First Seal of Senate was presented to Fellows of the Senate and the descendants of many former Chancellors, Deputy Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors who were invited to attend the gala evening.

Among the relatives and descendants were the following:

  • Her Honour Judge Cecily Backhouse, a descendant of His Hon Alfred Paxton Backhouse (Vice-Chancellor 1892-1894, 1896-1899, 1911-1914)
  • Lady Black, widow of Sir Hermann Black (Deputy Chancellor 1969-1970, Chancellor 1970-1990)
  • Mrs Anne Craigie, daughter of Professor John Manning Ward (Vice-Chancellor and Principal 1981-1990)
  • Mrs Molly McNamara, a descendant of Sir Charles George McDonald KCMG (Deputy Chancellor 1953, Chancellor 1964-1969)
  • Mrs S Scotts, a descendant of Emeritus Professor Sir Stephen Henry Roberts CMG (Vice-Chancellor and Principal 1947-1967)
  • Mrs Ann Sheahan, a descendant of Mr Frank Leverrier KC (Vice-Chancellor 1914-1917, 1921-1923)
  • Mr Phillip Street, a descendant of the Hon Sir Phillip Whistler Street (Deputy Chancellor 1926-1928)
  • The Hon William Wentworth AO, a descendant of William Charles Wentworth (Fellow of Senate 1850–1872)
  • Dr Mac Wyllie, a descendant of Rev Bertram Russell Wyllie (Deputy Chancellor 1966-1969)

  • Carillon Bells
  • 6.30pm: Drinks and canapes in the Quadrangle
  • Fellows of Senate enter the Great Hall
  • Welcome: Professor Gavin Brown FAA, Vice-Chancellor and Principal
  • Entree
  • Guest Speaker: The Hon Murray Gleeson AC, Chief Justice of Australia
  • Main Course
  • Expression of thanks to all Fellows
  • 8.50pm: Dessert and Coffee
  • Vote of Thanks: Emeritus Professor Dame Leonie Kramer AC DBE, Chancellor and Chairperson of the Senate
  • 9.00pm: Presentation of Commemorative Medallions, with the names read out by the Vice-Chancellor and presented by the Deans/Deputy Vice-Chancellors/Pro Vice-Chancellors at appropriate tables.

  • Drinks and canapes in the Quadrangle:
    Chilled leek, potato and gazpacho shooters
    Cured salmon on a dill pancake with creme fraiche and salmon caviar
    Miniature caesar salad in a crisp crouton
    Tempura vegetables flavoured with cumin seeds and served with a mild chilli yoghurt
    Beef fillet medallions marinated in Tandoori paste with a yoghurt and cucumber dipping sauce.
  • Entree
  • Main Course:
    Breast of corn-fed chicken in a miniature stock of grilled parsnip, fennel and potato, accompanied by wattleseed crusted roast veal medallions with steamed green and yellow beans
  • Dessert and Coffee:
    White chocolate mousse with a chocolate shortbread disc and pecan praline
    Dessert wine was served on silver trays
  • Coffee and petits fours