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One of Queensland’s oldest higher education institutions – now a national hub for agricultural education, research and innovation – celebrates its 125e anniversary.
UQ Gatton was established as the Queensland Agricultural College (QAC) in 1897, was taken over by the US Army during World War II and merged into the University of Queensland in 1990.
Professor Nigel Perkins of the UQ School of Veterinary Science said the campus’ long history means you can’t go far in the Queensland region without finding someone with a direct connection to Gatton.
“Either they had been there, or their sister, brother or friend, or they knew someone who had been there, or they had been there themselves and the connection is positive, on a level that still amazes me today, Professor Perkins. said.
“There is a deep connection to the history of QAC.
“Because the bush population is so low and because there’s this shared bond – if you go to the University of Sydney or the University of Melbourne then you think of the 100 year history, there’s no big connection between someone who studied history 100 years ago going against someone who studied economics or medicine – but all the bush children who went to QAC shared the same kind of story.
Gatton’s long history is deeply appreciated by staff and students and kept alive by the Gatton Past Students Association (GPSA), which was established in 1924.
President Mark Pace, a Gatton graduate and former staff member, who maintains ties to the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, said the campus has extensive community ties.
“You have to realize that this connection and bond is intrinsic to the campus culture, and the reason it’s so active is because the campus had a community structure,” Pace said.
“It was largely residential and there was also this strong bond between staff and students.
“For a lot of us in the association, the friends you have in your life, chances are those are relationships you’ve made on campus.”
UQ is marking this milestone by inviting Gatton campus alumni, current and past staff and the Gatton community to return to campus for a series of events, including a long table lunch on Saturday July 2 and activities for the whole family throughout the morning.
Professor Perkins said it was important to celebrate the 125-year legacy.
“It’s wonderful to be part of a university that has a global commitment to quality and all the positive messages of a globally ranked and recognized university,” he said.
“It is fascinating to be part of the growth of the Gatton campus, to make connections locally and to continue to be part of a university that is strongly committed to making the Gatton campus a flagship, a world leader in science agriculture, animal science, horticulture, veterinary science, it’s just stimulating.
Media: Communications UQ, [email protected]+61 (0)429 056 139.