Vale Gordon Samuels

UNSW pays tribute to its longest serving Chancellor.

Samuels inside2

UNSW pays tribute to its longest serving Chancellor.

Vice-Chancellor Fred Hilmer has paid tribute to UNSW's longest-serving Chancellor, the Honourable Gordon Samuels, who passed away earlier this week. He was aged 84.

In a long and distinguished career, Gordon Samuels served as a judge of the NSW Supreme Court, as chairman of the NSW Law Reform Commission and as Governor of NSW. He was Chancellor of UNSW for close to 20 years.

Professor Hilmer said: "I know I speak for the UNSW community, past and present, in paying tribute to the contribution made by Gordon Samuels to the community generally and to UNSW in particular.

"As Patrick O'Farrell noted in his history of UNSW, Gordon's influence was 'profound, general and continuous'. He was an outstanding contributor, supporter and friend to UNSW.

"Gordon embraced the role of Chancellor with enthusiasm and dedication, based on the desire to see the University realise its great potential. He provided invaluable guidance to UNSW as it developed into the leading research- intensive professional and scientific university it is today," Professor Hilmer said.

Born in London and educated at Oxford, Gordon Samuels came to Australia at the age of 25. He was appointed to the NSW Supreme Court in 1972. Having joined the UNSW Council in 1969, he went on to serve as Chancellor of the University from 1976 until his retirement in 1994. He was Governor of NSW from 1996 until 2001.

As Chancellor, Dr Samuels played a key role in establishing the UNSW Foundation, was a life member of the Sports Association and had long and close links with many University clubs and sporting bodies. He was the inaugural presiding member of the Advisory Board of the Australia Ensemble, and provided encouragement to the Ensemble, the School of Music and Music Education and the Collegium Musicum Choir.

The University recognised the services of Dr Samuels and his wife Jacqueline in 1992 with the opening of the Samuels Building on the Kensington campus. In 1994 the University conferred upon Gordon Samuels the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, and the degree of Doctor of the University, honoris causa, upon Mrs Samuels.

Dr Samuels was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1987 and a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in 2000. He received the Centenary Medal in 2003.

The University will hold a special memorial service for Dr Samuels in early 2008.