The man who founded The University of Western Australia, Sir John Winthrop Hackett, has been commemorated at a special service held at St George’s Cathedral on Sunday 21 February at 5pm.
Chairman of the Royal Commission on the establishment of the University and its first Chancellor, Hackett (1848-1916) is credited as UWA’s founding father. He was also part-owner and editor of The West Australian newspaper, a member of the Western Australian Legislative Council and Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Perth.
Hackett was a passionate advocate of free and accessible education for all and The University of Western Australia had the distinction of being the first free university in the British Empire, established to ‘advance the prosperity and welfare of the people’.
As well as founding UWA and endowing many of its scholarships through his generous endowment (equivalent to more than $52 million today), Hackett was also responsible posthumously for the creation of St George’s College.
To honour Hackett’s remarkable and enduring legacy, UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson invited UWA staff, stiudents, alumni and the wider communityto the Centenary Commemoration, which was followed by a reception in the newly landscaped Cathedral Square. All are welcome.