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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information
Senior Trusts Officer
08 8313 5804