14 December 2007

The University of Queensland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Hay, AC, as well a World Peace Fellow, will farewell UQ at graduation ceremonies on Monday, December 17.

The 6pm ceremony will mark the last official University function attended by Professor Hay in the role of Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Hay will retire on December 31 after serving 12 years in the top job.

“Monday’s graduation ceremony will no doubt be an evening of mixed emotions,” Professor Hay said.

“While it is always rewarding to congratulate and wish well our graduating students, it will be my final opportunity to address academic colleagues and friends as Vice-Chancellor.

“It will also be my last chance to stand before an audience as representative of The University of Queensland, something which has been an immense pleasure for the past 12 years.”

Under Professor Hay’s leadership, UQ has become Australia’s most successful university in winning and being short-listed for national university teaching awards, and has witnessed the development of a nationally unprecedented series of research institutes and centres, with funding in excess of $800 million.

Also graduating on December 17 is Rotary World Peace Fellow, Leah Aylward.

Each year, 60 competitive Rotary World Fellowships are made available, and are granted based on applicants’ potential as leaders in government, business, education, media and other professional areas.

Recipients have an opportunity to complete a Masters degree in conflict resolution, peace studies or international relations at one of seven prestigious universities.

UQ is the only Australian institution with a Rotary Centre, and began its Rotary Masters program in 2003.

Ms Aylward, a graduate of Harvard University and former intern of the United Nations Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean said her time at UQ had been “incredible”.

“Interestingly enough, I transferred from the Argentina Centre to UQ and found that the facilities, and particularly the Professors I met, were outstanding,” Miss Aylward said.

“While a lot of the other World Peace fellows are off doing more practical things next things next year, I’ve actually been accepted to the UQ PhD program and am waiting to hear about funding.”

Three graduation ceremonies will take place on Monday, December 17, at UQ St Lucia.

• The 11am ceremony will be attended by graduates from the Schools of Psychology, and Social Work and Applied Human Services. The guest speaker will be Eddie Liu OBE OAM, Father of Chinatown and Honorary Ambassador of the City of Brisbane, and the valedictorian will be Danika Hiew. Mr Liu will also receive an honorary Doctor of the University at this ceremony.
• Jim Varghese, Director-General of the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries in Queensland, will be guest speaker at the 2pm ceremony, to be attended by graduates of the Schools of History Philosophy, Religion and Classics; Political Science and International Studies; and Social Science. The valedictorian will be Charles Maxwell-Coghlan.
• The 6pm ceremony, the last UQ function to be attended by Vice-Chancellor Professor Hay, is for graduates from the Schools of English, Media Studies and History; Journalism and Communication; Language and Comparative Studies; and music. The guest speaker will be Reverend Canon Professor John Morgan, Warden of St John’s College, and the valedictorian, Blake Baguley. Dr Morgan will receive an honorary Doctor of The University at this ceremony.

Media inquires: Penny Robinson at UQ Communications (3365 9723, penny.robinson@uq.edu.au)