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...

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. Learn more

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. Learn more

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. Learn more

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. Learn more

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. Learn more

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. Learn more

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.  Learn more

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. Learn more

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.  Learn more

For more information

Jackie Morris
Trusts Officer
08 8313 5804