Vice-Chancellor's Welcome – Winter 2019

As an alumnus and Vice-Chancellor of this University, I have spent a great amount of time thinking about what defines a university.

Professor Peter Rathjen AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, The University of Adelaide

The University of Adelaide is not its campuses, staff, students or university council. It is the group of people who identify as the University of Adelaide, and, of course, this is largely made up of our alumni, including you and me.

At last count, we have more than 146,000 alumni in more than 130 countries around the world.

Together, we form a global community whose collective achievements have an incredible societal impact. Staying connected with our global family is important. You are part of that world that keeps us in touch with the rest of the world; that spine that connects the university to industry and community.

I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you at alumni receptions held this year in Sydney, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City and New York. I look forward to meeting many more of you at planned future events both close to home and further afield in the lead up to our 150th celebrations in 2024.

As you would be aware, the University released its new strategic plan Future Making earlier this year. The plan outlines our trajectory over the next seven to 10 years and sets out an ambitious path, charging us with the role of future maker – for the future economic, social and cultural benefit of our State, and of us all.

No longer will our University be just a commentator on society, we will become an active participant in society. We commit to listening to the voice of our community, aligning ourselves with industry and community needs and aspirations.

Our alumni play a significant role in the plan. Closer engagement with our graduates, past and present, will strengthen our knowledge of external trends and bring a sharper global perspective to our community. Our alumni also offer current and future students experience and wisdom to guide them during their studies and beyond. We are also working hard to create more opportunities for you to participate in the life of your alma mater.

Our alumni are our greatest ambassadors and agents of change. As we look back over our history, we see a tradition of excellence. We have five Nobel Prize winners associated with the University of Adelaide and 111 Rhodes Scholars.

Our alumni’s achievements were celebrated recently at the University’s Annual Town and Gown evening, where many people from across our community, including alumni, key industry and government stakeholders and other supporters came together to celebrate our University and it’s place in this dynamic city of ours.

It is important from time to time to draw people with shared interests into the larger University of Adelaide community. In fact, we are reinvigorating our campuses to make them more welcoming for our staff, students, affiliates, alumni and the broader community. We are also developing a year-round events program to engage our communities in the social and intellectual fabric of the campus. This is part of our plan to become The Beating Heart of Adelaide.

I think we all recognise the power of a great education; the meaning it has given our lives. Like me, I’m sure you have a great sense of pride in our University. Now we are trying to build that sense of belonging.

I hope you feel inspired, as I have, by the alumni whose stories are contained within this edition of lumen.

Thank you for maintaining your connection with the University of Adelaide.

Happy reading.

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