More than 100 graduates returned to The University of Western Australia's historic Oak Lawn today for the launch of a new project to celebrate the University's first 100 years and benefit female students.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson opened the Graduates' Walk, a paved area around the perimeter of the Oak Lawn, which features granite pavers engraved with the graduate's name, qualifications and year of graduation.
Professor Robson said more than 100,000 graduates had left UWA since its inception.
"Through their efforts in every field of human endeavour, from arts to zoology, they have been able to make positive differences to people everywhere, in almost every aspect of their lives," he said.
One of the first pavers laid commemorates Thomas Cullity who graduated in 1919, who was represented at the launch by three generations of the Cullity family, including his son Denis, Denis' nephew Thomas Cullity and current Rhodes Scholar, Jackie McArthur, great-granddaughter of Thomas Cullity.
The Oak Lawn holds special memories of student days for thousands of UWA graduates and the project, organised by the Centenary Trust for Women, aims to lay up to 7,000 pavers around the lawn by the end of UWA's centenary year in 2013.
The pavers will raise funds through the Centenary Trust for Women to benefit female students through scholarships and emergency or hardship funds. The first 150 pavers were laid during the University's semester break.
Other prominent graduates who have purchased pavers include Governor Malcolm McCusker and Tonya McCusker, former governor Dr Ken Michael, former premier Geoff Gallop, Professor Robson, Dr Patricia Kailis, from MG Kailis Group, leading lawyer Patti Chong and Dr Smyth.