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Overview and history

Overview and History

Australia's ninth, and one of the University of Queensland's first residential colleges, Emmanuel was founded by the Presbyterian Church of Queensland in 1911 with the first students taking up residence in Wickham Terrace in 1912. Emmanuel College is a not for profit organisation where any surplus is reinvested in enriching the lives of our community through the improvement of facilities and the provision of scholarships.

Emmanuel College was established to provide a supportive residential environment for students of The University of Queensland while they gained a first class liberal education. This continued a tradition that can be traced back to the great Universities of the world such as Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom and more latterly to Harvard and Yale in the United States.

As the Presbyterian Church moved towards partnership with other religious denominations during the 1970s, Emmanuel College also came under the auspices of the Uniting Church.

Upon its inauguration, Emmanuel College was an all male residence but this changed in 1975 when women were admitted as Collegians. Now, the College numbers around 340 students with half our population being female.

The College experienced further change when it moved from its original site on Wickham Terrace to its present location on the main University campus in St Lucia in 1955.

The challenge for Emmanuel College as one of the senior residential colleges of The University of Queensland has always been to provide an outstanding residential environment through which students can experience academic, intellectual and personal growth. This challenge is embodied in the Emmanuel College Mission Statement which is:

“to provide a collegiate environment in which students of the University will have the greatest possible opportunity for academic achievement, intellectual development and personal growth in a supportive Christian environment.”

A full program of academic support is in place throughout both semesters to assist students with their university study and an understanding of their chosen career. In keeping with the College strategic plan, which promotes Emmanuel College as “a centre of excellence for a liberal education”, graduate tutors are employed to assist students to a deeper and more critical understanding of the discipline they have chosen. Seminars and lectures are held throughout the year to expose students to some of the thinkers and leaders within the wider community, providing useful contacts and opportunities for the future.

The need for a balanced life is also recognised by the College and the pastoral care of students, while not always obvious, is an integral part of daily life. Senior staff are on hand 24 hours a day to support and assist students. The College also appoints student leaders to mentor students within the residential wings, providing a broad support network for all students. This network includes referral to professional counselling through the University support services if needed.

Students can enjoy sporting, cultural and social activities throughout the year both at the University and through inter-collegiate sport and activities.

One of the great features of College life is making new friends. These are often lifetime friendships and sometimes Collegians meet their future life partners. Friendships within College provide an informal support framework and are an invaluable part of our students’ personal growth.