About Senate

Senate history

Senate timeline – 1849 to the present


1849-1899:

1849
  • 4 September 1849: William Charles Wentworth presented a petition to the Legislative Council from a majority of the proprietors of the Sydney College praying for the adoption of a measure to convert the College into a University.
1850
  • 1 October 1850: The Act of Incorporation 1850 established the University of Sydney.
  • 24 December 1850: 16 Fellows of Senate were by proclamation in the NSW Government Gazette.
1851
  • 3 February 1851: The first meeting of Senate, chaired by William Charles Wentworth, was held in the Chambers of the Speaker of the NSW Legislative Council.
  • 3 March 1851: The first Vice-Chancellor (Vice-Provost), Sir Charles Nicholson, was elected.
  • 17 March 1851: The first Chancellor (Provost), Edward William Terrick Hamilton, was elected and the first Secretary, Dr Richard Greenup, was appointed.
  • 10 April 1851: Senate meetings were now held in the former Sydney College, now Sydney Grammar School, in College Street.
1852
  • 11 October 1852: The inauguration ceremony for the University of Sydney was held in the Hall of the former Sydney College.
1854
  • 1854: The Mace, the symbol of the authority of Senate, was acquired in the name and on behalf of Queen Victoria.
1857
  • 14 May 1857: The present Arms of the University were granted by the College of Heralds, London.
  • 13 December 1857: The present Arms of the University were adopted by Senate.
1861
  • 1861: The titles of Provost and Vice-Provost were altered to Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor respectively, although there was no change to their respective offices.

1900-1949:

1900
1909
  • 12 October 1909: The former Library room in the Main Building was to be fitted for meetings of Senate (Building and Grounds Committee minutes).
1911
  • 6 February 1911: The first Senate meeting to be held in the Senate Room (formerly the Library).
1919
1924
  • 12 December 1924: The amendment of the University and University Colleges Act 1900 (as amended) on the recommendation of Senate received Royal Assent, providing that the Vice-Chancellor as Chief Executive Officer was appointed by Senate; the earlier elected position of Vice-Chancellor became the Deputy Chancellor.
  • 1924: Sir Mungo William MacCallum was the first Vice-Chancellor appointed and Cecil Purser was the first Deputy Chancellor elected under the new executive arrangements.
1938
1943

1950-1999:

1951
  • 5 February 1951: A Special Senate meeting was held in celebration of the centenary of the first meeting of Senate on 3 February 1851.
1952
1955
  • 1955: The title Vice-Chancellor was changed to Vice-Chancellor and Principal.
1990
1991
1997

2000 - present:

2001
2002
2003
  • 5 May 2003: Senate approved the establishment of the position of Pro Chancellor.
2008
2013