Historical Records

The University owes its origin to the benevolence and public spirit of Sir Walter Watson Hughes and Sir Thomas Elder, who each gave a gift of £20,000 for this purpose.  The future of the University was secured by further generous gifts provided by people such as John Howard Angas, Robert Barr Smith, and many others. 


Women who left a legacy

Read about some of the inspirational women who left a bequest or made a gift to the University, leaving their footprints to inspire and drive future generations...


Read some of the stories of gifts and donations made to the University in memory of prior staff and graduates of the University

Early endowments

Sir W W Hughes

The founding of the University of Adelaide in 1874 was made possible by a gift of £20,000 by Sir Walter Watson Hughes.  It was an enormous amount at the time and is equivalent to more than $21 million today.

Sir Thomas Elder

Renowned for his philanthropy, Sir Thomas Elder, a wealthy businessman and pastoralist, gave £10,000 in 1883 for the foundations of a School of Medicine and upon his death in 1897 left £65,000 to the University.

Hon J H Angas

The University's first donated scholarship was established in 1878 when the Hon J H Angas gave £4,000 to provide scholarships in engineering.

Robert Barr Smith

In 1892 Robert Barr Smith, Esquire, presented to the University £1,000 for the commencement of a Library.  In 1920 the sum of £11,000 was added by members of his family as a permanent endowment.

Peter Waite

In 1914, Mr Peter Waite transferred the whole of his valuable Urrbrae Estate at Glen Osmond to the University.  The estate comprises an area of 134 acres and a mansion house.

Sir George Murray

In 1907, the Hon Sir George Murray K.C., B.A., LL.B., then a member of the Council of the University, paid £1000 to the University for the purpose of founding a scholarship to be called ‘The Tinline Prize’ in memory of the family of his mother.

J S Davies

Pastoralist John Stanley Davies spent his working life improving strains of beef cattle - a passion that has directly benefitted the University of Adelaide. He never married and on his death in 1968 he bequeathed most of his estate to the University and part to Prince Alfred College.

JAT Mortlock

JAT Mortlock was a successful pastoralist and stud Merino breeder and great philanthropist. During his life he made significant donations to agricultural research.

Eric Smith Scholarship

Established in 1879 by the South Australian Commercial Traveller's and Warehousemen's Association. This is one of the University's oldest scholarships still awarded today.

Sir Hugh Cairns Scholarship

The Sir Hugh Cairns Memorial Scholarship was established in 1953 by a donation to the University by the Committee of the Sir Hugh Cairns Memorial Association for the purpose of founding a prize to perpetuate the memory of Sir Hugh Cairns, a former student of the Adelaide High School.

Dr Davies-Thomas Prize

In 1896 Mrs Eleanor Davies-Thomas donated £400 to the University to establish annual Scholarships in the medical course in memory of her husband, the late Dr Davies-Thomas.  Past recipients of the Scholarship include Howard Florey and Helen Mayo.

Everard Prize

In 1889, William Everard bequeathed £1,000 to the University to establish a scholarship in connection with the Medical School to be called by his name.

Alf Hannaford Bequest

In 1969, Alf Hannaford bequeathed his residuary estate (approx $372,000) to the University.

Eric Goyne Stephens Bequest (in memory of Cyril Forster Stephens)

The collections of the University's Roseworthy Campus Library have greatly benefited from the donations and bequest of Eric Goyne Stephens, made in memory of his brother, Cyril Forster Stephens, who was a gold medallist at Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1913 and killed in action in World War I.

    Fred Johns Scholarship for Biography

    In 1932, Frederic Johns left a bequest to the University of £1,500 for a Scholarship to be called the "Fred Johns Scholarship for Biography".





    For more information

    Jackie Morris
    Senior Trusts Officer
    08 8313 5804