Graduates Revisit Golden Years
It's a familiar scene on the University of Adelaide's North Terrace campus: a long line of black-robed graduates extends from the Bonython Hall entrance, chatting nervously as they wait to proceed inside - only these excited graduates are 50 years older than the average graduand.
The University welcomed back 85 alumni for a Golden Jubilee reunion in October to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their graduation. They came from as far as Malaysia, Singapore and the US, as well as from all over Australia, to enjoy a day of celebration and reminiscing.
As well as reliving the thrill of graduation with a commemoration ceremony in Bonython Hall, alumni had the chance to catch up at a luncheon, take tours of their old faculties and reconnect with the people and the places from their university days.
Returning 1958 graduates included 1961 Magarey Medallist and Sturt premiership captain for 1966, John Halbert MBE. Mr Halbert, who received a Diploma of Physical Education from the University of Adelaide in 1958, delivered the Golden Jubilee Address.
"The year 1958 was a very important one in the history of this University," he said. "It was a period of extensive planning for the new Napier Building to house the Faculties of Arts, Economics and Law, and both the Barr Smith Library and the Union Building underwent extensions. In fact, the Union Hall was opened in August of that year.
"Over lunch today there will be many stories told not just about life within the faculties, but also about uni life outside the lecture theatre. There will be stories about the Barr Smith Library - the meeting place for much social interaction.
"And what about those wonderful Prosh Processions up North Terrace, with each group trying to outshine the others with their magnificent float?
"Could you ever forget exam time in Centennial Hall at Wayville - no air conditioning and the heat of November and early December?"
Mr Halbert also used the occasion to highlight the important role that the University has played in the graduates' lives over the preceding half century.
"We are privileged to have been a part of the history of this wonderful institution. I am sure that it played a significant role in our preparation for the world outside its hallowed halls, and in the direction in which many of us travelled in these past years.
"And so I thank this University on behalf of the graduates for the honour you have bestowed on us today in this ceremony, and for the opportunity of acknowledging the important part which the University of Adelaide has played in each of our lives." ■
If you are interested in organising a class reunion or would like more information about the University's reunions program, please phone: +61 8 8303 3317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the reunions website at www.alumni.adelaide.edu.au/reunion/