We often refer to the fact that our University was built on the extraordinary philanthropy and vision of our founders almost a century ago ... and our whole community continues to enjoy the benefits of the generosity of new generations of friends and supporters.
The results of such generosity are often easiest to see at an institutional level through the application of gifts to teaching, learning and research, new building programs or new equipment.
Harder to see, yet often more important, is the effect on individuals who benefit from these acts of generosity.
Earlier this month, an outstanding group of engineers - ranging across 35 years of endeavour and achievement - came together to celebrate the vision and generosity of their benefactor, Dr Harold Clough (pictured right), who set up one of this University's most successful industry partnerships through the Clough engineering scholarship program.
From around the nation and around the world they came - UWA engineering graduates whose success stories reminded us of the life-changing experiences that can come from the support of scholarships.
It was an opportunity to salute Dr Clough for his foresight in creating a scholarship program for the University's top undergraduate engineering students, providing financial assistance in their third and fourth years of study.
Dr Clough - one of Western Australia's, and indeed our nation's foremost engineers - established the scholarship program at UWA in 1969 and it ran continuously through to 2004.
And there were no strings attached. It was a groundbreaking aspect of this program that it provided all the opportunity for work while not tying students to working for Clough Limited after completing their studies at UWA. Such an act was a reflection of Dr Clough's extraordinary understanding that young engineering graduates had much more to gain from working for more than one organisation in the global engineering and business community.
Nevertheless, all the scholarship recipients were given the opportunity to do vacation work with Clough Limited - for many, this came at a time when vacation jobs were difficult to find due to the limited number of private contractors operating in Perth and a limited number of major projects available for tender.
The Clough family's links to the University date back more than 60 years. In more recent times, the long and mutually beneficial relationship we have had with Clough Limited has included industry membership of the UWA Futures Foundation for Oil and Gas Education, funding for scholarships, vacation employment, student prizes, research collaborations and most recently the development of the Clough First Year Engineering Centre.
Of the 140 Clough engineering scholarship recipients, many have gone on to successfully lead industry and government organisations, others have established their own businesses and continue the tradition of giving back to the profession - investing in the future at local and international universities.
The partnership between our University and Clough Limited achieved Dr Clough's vision by contributing to building capacity and capability in Western Australia, a vision we have always shared.
Vice-Chancellor Alan Robson
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