From the Vice-Chancellor
It's the festive season, so it's appropriate that I devote a bit of space in this last issue of the year to the idea of giving.
There are a number of stories in this month's Adelaidean that demonstrate the power of giving and its ability to make a real impact on individuals, institutions and the community.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the gift that began the University of Adelaide more than 130 years ago. In 1872, Sir Walter Watson Hughes gave £20,000 - a staggering amount at that time - which led to the foundation of the University of Adelaide in 1874, giving South Australia the nation's third university. This set in motion a great legacy: our University has had 100,000 graduates to date, 100 Rhodes Scholars and five Nobel Laureates, three of them our own graduates.
Hughes showed great vision in helping to create the University, but I don't think even he could have known the absolute breadth and depth of the achievements this university has seen over the years.
Giving is not just something that has occurred in the University's past. We are grateful to have individuals who, like Hughes, have a vision and an understanding of how education can change people and society. Such a person is Maureen Ritchie, who has donated a substantial amount of money to our Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music to help establish an outreach program with rural and remote communities.
Maureen's contribution, like that of Hughes, is the subject of a story in this publication. We're extremely grateful to Maureen for her interest and her commitment to helping the University to achieve great things.
Another excellent example of this can be found in the story about the City of West Torrens Max and Bette Mendelson Foundation Scholarships. Established from a bequest, the scholarships provide educational opportunities and support for talented young students from each of South Australia's universities. What began as a selfless act is now making a huge impact on many students each year.
It's not just individuals who can make a difference - SA Water has shown its commitment to higher education by establishing nine scholarships at the University of Adelaide, starting next year. The scholarships will support students from across many disciplines.
This year the South Australian Government also made a donation of $1 million to the University's Heritage Foundation, the largest individual contribution to the Foundation since its inception in 2005.
All of these donations to the University recognise the importance of having a quality educational institution in this State. Those who donate understand the difference they can make - whether big or small, it is all welcome.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the University of Adelaide this year. I wish you all the best for the festive season.
PROFESSOR JAMES A. McWHA
Vice-Chancellor and President