Tracing back 140 years of history with the University of Adelaide
Gemma Gransbury and Betty Gransbury
Over dinner one night while chatting about family history with her two grandmothers, Gemma Gransbury discovered all her grandparents had attended the University of Adelaide.
This sparked her curiosity and started Gemma on a mission to trace the family connections to the University. “I felt a strong connection to the University, my second home of four years, and wanted to find out more,” said Gemma.
She was able to trace the Gransbury connection back 140 years to William Everard who was appointed to the first University Council and sat alongside the founding fathers of the University, including the first Vice-Chancellor Augustus Short. William established the William Everard Prize at the University which is still awarded to an outstanding medical student each year.
William had no children himself so the University legacy was carried on by his great nephew, James Edward Everard, who graduated in December 1910 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.
The tradition of medicine and science is strong with James’ daughter and Gemma’s grandmother, Betty Ann Gransbury (nee Everard), who completed her Bachelor of Science, majoring in organic and inorganic chemistry in 1945 and her Honours in organic chemistry in 1948.
Gemma has followed in her grandmother’s footsteps and in 2013 she graduated with a degree in science with a double major in chemistry. She completed her Honours year in 2014 and was awarded the Honours Alumni University Medal. Gemma is now embarking on her PhD in inorganic chemistry at the University of Melbourne.
Despite the similarities, Gemma says she was not influenced by her grandmother when deciding what to study.
“I didn’t find out that Gran had studied chemistry until I was in year 12 and by that stage I had already decided I wanted to study science,” said Gemma.
“I was pretty excited when I realised we both did double chemistry majors!”
Betty, who was awarded an OAM in 2006 for service to the community, married Bazil William Gransbury, who completed his Diploma in Agricultural Science at Roseworthy Agricultural College.
Gemma’s maternal grandparents, Mary Jean Horne (nee Hill) completed a Diploma of Arts and Education in 1958 and Leonard William Horne completed a Bachelor of Arts in 1968 and a Diploma of Education in 1972. Their daughter, Gemma’s mother, Marie-Louise Gransbury (nee Horne) completed a Bachelor of Science in 1982.
There is also a history of doctors in the family that can be traced back to Dr Charles George Everard who was the first doctor in South Australia, arriving on the Africaine in 1836. Gemma’s brother, Thomas William Gransbury, is continuing the medical connection with the University, and is currently in his second year of a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.
Story by Renée Capps