Former Vice-Chancellor recognised with building naming

10 August 2014

Former Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Low has been honoured by having a campus building named after him.

Professor Low, members of his family and members of the ANU community came together for the ceremony at the Innovations building on Monday 4 August.

Professor Low was Vice-Chancellor of ANU from 1975 to 1982 and led the University through a period of change in Australia’s political and tertiary education landscape that included the dismissal of the Whitlam Government and changes to student services fees.

Despite the challenging times, Professor Low helped establish a research centre in the Research School of Earth Sciences relating to environmental chemistry.

He also established a study into the function of the cerebral cortex at the then named Research School of Biological Sciences. A new centre for economic policy research was also established in the Research School of Social Sciences.

Current Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Young, said Professor Low was a popular Vice-Chancellor who made an immense contribution to making the University what it is today.

“He has always been remembered for his capacity to bring people together, for his willingness to get out to the schools, faculties and departments, to represent the University boldly,” Professor Young said.

Professor Low’s daughter Penny, says the family is humbled to have him honoured with the building naming.

“I think what’s very special is he’s been involved with the campus for such a very long time. And as my brother says, this is the place where we grew up. I remember, where the building is, was a sheep paddock,” she says.

“But I think just to see the amount of work put into trying to make the ANU a world class place, was so important.”

Professor Low also has a building named after him at Cambridge where he worked for 15 years following the conclusion of his Vice-Chancellorship at ANU in 1982.

Penny recalls that her father often had lunch with various groups around the University each week, from gardeners through to researchers, and he would occasionally teach a lecture or two to students.

“When he was Vice-Chancellor he actually had postgraduate students come into his office that had come from all over the world. They were brilliant students, but many of them didn’t know how to write an essay so he had essay writing classes in his room in the Chancelry.

“So for us to see that he had put so much effort into his work, this is a lovely compliment to him.”

Listen to speeches by the current Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young and Professor Low’s son Adam at the dedication ceremony.