Students at the University of Sydney

Students in the early years

This webpage provides brief information about the beginnings / establishment of the Faculty of Economics, and photos of its early students and graduates.

View more information and photos about early women Economics students.

On this webpage:


Click on images for enlargement.


FACULTY OF ECONOMICS 1920 (Now The University of Sydney Business School)

Milestones

1903:  The University's extension board arranged a course of lectures in commerce which were very successful.  
1907: Courses in Economics and Commerce, qualifying for the Bachelor of Arts degree, were introduced by the Department of Economics and Commerce, initially located in the Faculty of Law owing to the opposition of the Faculty of Arts, for both matriculated and unmatriculated students.  Eighty-four students attended lectures in Economics and Commerce I.
  Lectures were given the evening at the Law School, Selborne Chambers, Phillip Street until 1921.
1909: Unmatriculated students who passed Economics and Commerce I, II and II were entitled to receive a Diploma in Economics and Commerce,
1910: The first Diplomas in Economics and Commerce were awarded to twenty-six students.
1911: Edith Swain was the first woman to receive the Diploma in Economics and Commerce.
1912: Professor Robert Irvine, who had been a lecturer in Economics since 1907, was appointed as Professor of Economics and drafted new bylaws for a revised curiculum. 
  The Department of Economics and Commerce shifted to the Faculty of Arts as originally intended, and was housed in a cramped corned of the old Geology Building where some of its classes were held.
1913: The Department of Economics and Commerce in the Faculty of Arts now offered the three-year Bachelor of Economics degree, with only matriculated students being eligible, as well as the three-year Diploma in Economics and Commerce. 
1914: The first Bachelor of Economics graduates were Alan Brierley BA, Victor Haigh BA LLB and Robert Taylor BA, and one woman, Edith Swain
1920: A separate Faculty of Economics was established.
1925: The Master of Economics was first conferred on Bradney Goodwin and Frank Mauldron.
1928: The Faculty was well established, attracting sizeable numbers of enrolments and with better accommodation in the Quadrangle.
1949: The R C Mills Building was the first permanent building constructed for the Faculty of Economics.
1960s: Beginning in the late 1960s, the conflict between those committed to the teaching of mainstream Economics at the University of Sydney against the proponents of an alternative program in Political Economy led to a dispute which continued for decades until a Department of Political Economy was established in the Faculty of Arts in 2008.
1964: Boris Schedvin received the first PhD in Economics.
1965: The Merewether Building was opened, housing the Faculty of Economics.
1972: Dr John G Crawford (BEc 1932, MEc 1940) was awarded the first honorary Doctorate of Science in Economics.
1973: Professor R J Chambers (BEc 1939) received the first Doctor of Science in Economics. 
2008: A Department of Political Economy was established in the Faculty of Arts.
2010: The Faculty was renamed the Faculty of Economics and Business.
2011: There were major changes in the Faculty:
– the Discipline of Economics, the Centre for International Security Studies and the Graduate School of Government were transferred to the Faculty of Arts, which became the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
– the Faculty of Economics and Business became The University of Sydney Business School, comprising the disciplines of Accounting, Business Analytics, Business Information Systems, Business Law, Finance, International Business, Marketing and Work & Organisational Studies, the Institute of Transport & Logistics Studies and the Workplace Research Centre.
2012: There were 3,347 women and 2,989 men students enrolled in the Business School as at 31 March.

Gallery

In the early 1900s
Economics and Commerce III in 1909

Economics and Commerce III in 1909: S B Bateman, Robert Brown, Charles Campbell, John Cane, Alfred Carson, Francis Comyn, Arthur Robinson, Robert Goddard, H Seach, David Glassford, W R Waddington, Ernest Selby, Edward Walcot, Arthur Sharp, Walter Moore, Henry Street, James Symonds, John Ferguson, Professor R F Irvine, John Sutherland, Allan Wylie, Arthur Oakes, A H Hattersley, H Dunstan Vane, Walter Lacey, William Ewing, photo G3_224_1495, Archives.

William Day in 1924

William Day was one of the original students under Professor Irvine and was granted the Diploma in Economics and Commerce in 1912, photo, The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 November 1924,, National Library of Australia.

George Burke

George Burke was in the first year of his Economics course when he enlisted in June 1915 on his 18th birthday. Private Burke was killed in action at Gallipoli, eleven weeks later, photo, 'Hermes", December 1919, University of Sydney Archives.

Frank Mauldron

After graduating BA in 1915, Frank Mauldron proceeded with the Economics course but before completing it, enlisted in World War I. Captain Mauldron was wounded in 1916. Following the war, he completed his Bachelor of Economics and was one of the first two students to gain the Master of Economics in 1925, photo, 'Hermes", December 1919, University of Sydney Archives.

In the 1930s
Economics Faculty eight-oar rowers, 1930

Economics Faculty eight-oar rowers, 1930, photo from Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, Digital order number: hood_03966.

Economics Faculty eight-oar rowers, 1930

Economics Faculty eight-oar rowers, 1930, photo from Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, Digital order number: hood_03965.

Edrick Scott

Edrick Scott began the diploma course in economics, attending evening lectures, and had completed his first year shortly before his death in a level-crossing accident at Warwick Farm in May 1933. He had been a member of the Economics Faculty eight-oar rowers, The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 June 1933, National Library of Australia.

In the 1950s
Economics students spend a day in industry

Economics Professor S J Butlin and some of his students and lecturers spent a day at a factory in July 1953 to gain practical experience. Production superintendent N C Burrows (left) explains to students Clyde Gittins and David Stout how mill operator Frank Hogan applies resin to raw rubber to soften it for making adhesive tape, photo, 'The Australian Women's Weekly', 22 July 1953, National Library of Australia.

Economics students spend a day in industry

University men with factory executives studying the manufacture of cotton-wool from raw cotton in the factory. The students spent the day there, from 8.30 in the morning, and gained practical knowledge from the workers of the running of a big concern, photo, 'The Australian Women's Weekly', 22 July 1953, National Library of Australia.

Dezjon Rolfe, Barry Gordon (Secretary of the Economics Society) & Eileen Cook at the Societys dance

Dezjon Rolfe, Barry Gordon (Secretary of the Economics Society) and Eileen Cook at the Society's dance at the University in July 1954, photo, 'The Sun-Herald', 1 August 1954, National Library of Australia.

Rennie Clayton, who won double honors in Economics and Economic History at Sydney University

Rennie Clayton, who won double honors in Economics and Economic History at Sydney University in 1954, hoped to become Australia's only bearded comedian, to earn enough money to study at Stockholm University, photo from 'Advocate', 27 December 1954, National Library of Australia.

In the 1960s
Carl Boris Schedvin

Carl Boris Schedvin, the first PhD in Economics in 1964, photo, The Australian Women's Weekly, 4 March 1964, National Library of Australia.

In the 1970s
Economics honours students with Dr Houghton and Professor Rutherford in 1970

Economics honours students with Dr Houghton and Professor Rutherford in 1970, photo G3_224_2101, University of Sydney Archives

Political economy students posing during a protest outside the Quadrangle, 1975

Political economy students posing during a protest outside the Quadrangle, 1975, photo, University of Sydney Archives.

Students demonstrating for Political Economy in 1976.

Students demonstrating for Political Economy in 1976, photo G3_224_2697 , University of Sydney Archives.

In the 1980s
Overcrowded classes in 1988

Overcrowded Economics classes in 1988, photo, The Sydney Economist, Vol2, No 2, 1988.

Today
The Economics and Business Building

The Economics and Business Building, photo, Sydney Business Connect, July 2012.

The first Master of Management graduates in 2010

Graduates from the first cohort of the faculty’s Master of Management degree at their graduation ceremony on 4 June 2010, photo, E&B connect, July 2010.

The Global EMBA partners with Foodbank NSW to tackle the issue of feeding hungry Australians in 2010

Participants of the Global Executive MBA (EMBA) program tackled the enormous issue of feeding millions of hungry Australians in a project for not-for-profit agency, Foodbank New South Wales, photo, E&B Connect, October 2010.

The Faculty

The Faculty's new Washington DC Internship Program gave 19 students the opportunity of a lifetime, by completing a summer internship program in 2011 at the University of California Washington Center in the United States, photo, Sydney Business Connect, March 2011.

Information sources
  • University of Sydney Calendar Archive
  • National Library of Australia newspapers
  • 'A History of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Sydney 1920-1999', by Peter Groenewegen
  • The Faculty of Economics and Business Alumni Magazine, June 2008


Lis Bergmann, 2012