Alumna 'takes a seat' for mother in Elder Hall refurbishment

Selma Ruth Galvin university graduation

Selma at her graduation, 1953.

Catherine Galvin (Bachelor of Engineering Honours, 1986) discovered the Elder Hall ‘Take a Seat’ refurbishment in the Spring 2022 edition of lumen. She was intrigued by the opportunity to reserve a seat and help refurbish the iconic Elder Hall, a place where the wonder of music has been celebrated for more than a century.

Her Mother, alumna Selma Ruth Galvin (Bachelor of Arts, 1953), passed away suddenly on 2February 2021 aged 96 years old, and Catherine instantly resonated with the opportunity to honour her mother by reserving a seat in her name.

Selma was an alto soprano singer and performed at Elder Hall in the 1940s and early 1950s.

“Mum sang and played the piano,” Catherine said.

Catherine shared that her mother was passionate about learning. “She was a great reader and loved philosophy. She was very successful at school and even skipped ahead two years.”

Selma Galvin in a musical

Selma Galvin performing as lead actress in a musical

“Mum loved to sing, perform and entertain. After graduating from university, she was in lots of musicals including Gilbert and Sullivan operas, HMAS Pinafore and Iolanthe,” said Catherine.

The message on Selma’s plaque will read: “In Memory of Selma Ruth Galvin, Bachelor of Arts 1953, Singing, Latin and Maths.”  

“Mum was extraordinary, and I love being able to honour her with a plaque in Elder Hall.” Catherine Galvin

Catherine and her family are delighted they discovered the Take a Seat opportunity. “It’s lovely to remember Mum in this special way. She was there and benefited from the beautiful hall.”

“I instantly thought I have to do this!  It’s the most wonderful opportunity to honour Mum,” Catherine said.

Catherine said her Mum would feel very humbled to be remembered and honoured in Elder Hall.

Elder Hall will re-open in April 2023 and the exclusive donor ‘thank you event’ will be held on 4 April 2023.

“We are very excited to come back to campus, to take a seat in ‘Mum’s seat’ and see her name there in Elder Hall. It will be a special and proud moment.”

Tagged in alumni profiles, alumni in focus, Elder Conservatorium of Music, TakeASeat