University of Melbourne Award recognises 'outstanding contributions' from former and current staff

September 14 / 143

Family and descendents of awardees admiring the plaques on Professors Walk
Family and descendents of awardees admiring the plaques on Professors Walk

Bronze plaques have sprung up along Professors Walk to commemorate the first recipients of the University of Melbourne Award.

The Award acknowledges academic and professional staff who have made an outstanding and enduring contribution to the University and its scholarly community.

The first 27 recipients range from former Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, federal court judges and prominent researchers, to bell ringers, librarians and athletics coaches.

A celebration for families and descendants of the awardees was held on Sunday, 31 August at University House. Five of the six living awardees attended.

Speakers included the Chancellor Elizabeth Alexander, who acknowledged the work of Professor Peter McPhee, noted historian and former provost, who was instrumental in putting the awards together.

“Today was a long time in planning. We have deliberated over years about the best ways to honour some of our greatest contributors in a lasting way,” she said.

“This is important because every institution needs to remember where it’s come from.

“Today is a day for recalling that all our successes only come through the wonderful legacy we have with our fine campus, our generous partners and supporters and our great people tradition among academic and professional staff.”

Awardee Dr Raymond Marginson, who was appointed the University’s first Vice-Principal in 1966, also spoke of his work at the University.

Attendee Tom Buxton who is a descendent of awardee Kathleen Fitzpatrick, said the afternoon was marvelous.

“It was a really lovely occasion which we all enjoyed immensely,” he said.

For more information and a list of the recipients, our-history.unimelb.edu.au.

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