Professor Emeritus Gordon Greenwood CMG



Mr Chancellor,

Time does not permit a full exposition of the merits of Gordon Greenwood's contri­butions to this University, and I present only three strands of his career.

Born in South Australia, he was educated at Knox Grammar School, Sydney and at the University of Sydney. He graduated with a first class honours degree in history.and a University medal. In 1939 he completed his Ph.D. in economics at the University of London, and accepted a lectureship at New England University College. In 1942 he was appointed to his alma mater, the University of Sydney, and was later promoted to Senior Lecturer and Acting Professor.

In 1949 he accepted the Mccaughey Chair of History at this University holding it for 34 years until his retirement last year. His unbounded energy and enthusiasm raised the status of the History Department to a pre-eminent one in Australia, with a high international reputation. His personal status as a historian is attested to by his election to Fellowship in two Australian Academies, Humanities and Social Sciences. As early as 1954, he had been appointed Chairman of the History Section of ANZAAS.

Apart from his academic attributes, Gordon Greenwood initiated and developed the Australian Journal of Politics and History, editing the Journal for 28 years. It was clear from the outset that the publication satisfied a need not satisfied by any other scholarly journal; its distinctive feature being its international dimension. The latest issue of the AJPH took the form of a Festschrift in honour of its founder. In the Editorial, Gordon Greenwood was described as "The rational patriot, devoid of chauvinism, and his 'unspoken assumptions' include an unshakeable belief in the fund­amental rightness of British political institutions astutely adapted to local circumstances".

The rewards for an academic are embodied in the respect of his academic peers; for Gordon Greenwood these are very evident. Two Fellowships in Australian Academies; the Festschrift and his designation as Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

The third strand of Professor Greenwood's claim for a University honour undoubtedly lies in his 30 years elected service as a Senator of the University. Only John Douglas Story, with 54 years, and Archbishop Duhig, with 50 years, have served longer; both were, however, ex-officio or government appointments. But it is not the length of service that is relevant, but its quality. Again I identify two themes. The first is his record as an advocate for the Library·and his undoubted success in its development as a major Australian collection; the second is his concern, long-felt but expressed finnly in his final speech to Senate three weeks ago, for the proper role of Senate in protecting the University from "the increasing power of the Administration"

Mr Chancellor,
I present to you Emeritus Professor Gordon Greenwood, Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George, Master of Arts of the University of Sydney, Doctor of Philosophy of the University of London, Fellow of the Academy of the Humanities in Australia, Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, for admission to the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.


Doctor of Letters honoris causa