Emmanuel College’s Gill Student Centre was officially opened on 7 August 2017 when Professor Stewart Gill OAM, Emmanuel College UQ Principal 2005 to 2016 and current Master of Queen’s College in Melbourne, unveiled the plaque at a cocktail event.
Provost and CEO Professor David Brunckhorst welcomed guests — including Council members, Honorary and Academic Fellows, staff, alumni, and student leaders — and spoke of Professor Gill’s outstanding contribution to Emmanuel College. “Stewart gave many wonderful legacies to Emmanuel and its students during his 12-year tenure as head of the College. ‘An education for life, not just for livelihood’ is not just a mission statement. Stewart’s nurturing and development of our academic program and his total dedication to the student learning experience are very much appreciated. While the Emmanuel tradition is to name residential wings after former heads, in this case, it is very fitting to name the student study centre in honour of Stewart’s legacy to the College.”
Professor Gill said, “Emmanuel stands apart in emphasising the academic over the social, cultural, and sporting aspect of college life — although the students do very well in those areas, too. I often say that colleges are about the past, the present and those yet unborn. Students and alumni are why we’re here and we also look towards the future. One of the great privileges within colleges is to see that continuity from generation to generation. I’m proud to be back here and thankful to those who decided to name this space the Gill Student Centre, because students are at the heart of everything I’ve tried to do in colleges. As well as academic achievement, I’m focusing on diversity, reconciliation, sustainability and leadership. I think all these are front and centre within Emmanuel. I commend David for all that he’s been doing and the Council for supporting him. I look forward to seeing the best university college in Queensland continue to go from strength to strength — perhaps in partnership, on some occasions, with the best university college in Victoria.”
In thanking Professor Gill for taking the time to come back to Emmanuel and officially open the Gill Student Centre, Council chairperson The Honourable Justice Roger Derrington spoke of Professor Gill’s time and effort promoting intellectualism and culturalism at Emmanuel, noting that Professor Brunckhorst has “taken up the baton that Stewart passed and is continuing that wonderful trend. It is only fitting that the new centre — where students can engage with study and higher education — acknowledges Stewart’s incredible contribution.”