A milestone birthday is always a great time for reflection and storytelling. And RMIT's 130th birthday is no exception.
To help celebrate, senior alumni and former staff gathered for a beautifully presented, and delicious, high-tea celebration in Storey Hall.
As part of the event, attendees were invited to share their special RMIT "moments" – dating all the way back to 1956.
One of our favourites from the day was from Russell Green, whose father returned to Melbourne from World War One aged 19 and was offered support from the Repatriation Department to study civil engineering at RMIT, graduating in 1924.
Green followed in his father’s footsteps, successfully completing a Diploma of Industrial Relations at his father’s alma mater in 1995.
Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean CBE, who hosted the event, reminisced about RMIT’s humble beginning as The Working Men’s College - with an intake of 200 students in 1887 - and its transition to a truly global university of more than 84,000 students studying around the world.
Martin Bean spoke about some of the incredible achievements from our alumni community.
From journalist Robert Thomson, CEO of global giant News Corporation, to Zac McClelland who, along with his colleagues at VicHyper, is redefining high-speed ground transportation.
He also spoke about the University’s strong history of philanthropy, such as Francis Ormond’s 1881 "seed fund" of 5,000 pounds which was matched by the Melbourne community and used to found the University; the John Storey bequest which has helped more than 600 students so far to study overseas; and the Chan family who donated several floors of a Bourke Street building – now home to RMIT Training and our newest enterprise, RMIT Online.
Over the decades hundreds of individuals and companies have contributed funds to create scholarships, support research, enable the best teaching staff to work at RMIT and activating special projects that change the lives of students.
We are excited about the next 130 years and we will continue to build upon the strong foundations of philanthropy, inclusion and innovation that have made RMIT the global university of technology, design and enterprise that it is today.
Story: Ally Forward