The Wagga campus of Charles Sturt University represents a daily tribute to its long heritage. Wander around the campus and you'll find the names of many who have strongly influenced its growth and success, providing a tangible historical link from the 1890s to the present day.
A drive around the campus north of Wagga Wagga means you travel along roads dedicated to the memory of some of the earliest managers of the Experimental Farm: Nathan Cobb Drive (scientist and manager 1897), Valder Way (George Valder, manager 1895-1897), McKeown Drive (G. Maurice McKeown, manager 1897-1920) and Darnell-Smith Drive (George Darnell-Smith, scientist 1913-1918).
The Wagga Agricultural College provided many names, not the least being Graham Building, now an administration block, preserving the memory of Edgar Hugh Graham, State member for Wagga Wagga, from 1941-1957. At the entrance to the road to Graham Building are the Graham Gates, originally given to the Wagga Teachers' College, South Campus, by students in 1958 and re-located several years ago. Accommodation blocks commemorate Dick Doman, first Wagga Agricultural College principal (1948-1962) and Fred Butler (principal, 1962-1965)The final principal, Brian Atkins (1965-1975) gave his name to Atkins Hall, now the University's Convention Centre. Members of staff are also honoured - for example John Sutherland, long-time lecturer in the Sutherland Laboratories; and the University's ceremonial 'great hall', Joyes Hall, a tribute to Don Joyes, College housemaster between 1951 and 1975. Joyes was a loved and respected confidante of students although he disliked motorbike repairs in bedrooms, washing on verandah rails and his students 'cavorting' with female students from the Teachers' College.
Travel over the hill between the Agriculture and Boorooma campuses for a science class in the David Morell Laboratories (first Dean of the School of Applied Science at RCAE); or a lecture in the Swan Theatre (Keith Swan, Teachers' College lecturer and historian) or the Wal Fife Theatres (Wallace Clyde Fife, State and federal member and minister between 1957 and 1975).
Visit lecturers in buildings named after early leaders in various disciplines, check your email in the Jack Cross Computing Centre (long-time deputy principal at RCAE and RMIHE), or enjoy a glass of wine at the C D Blake experimental winery (a tribute to the inaugural principal of RCAE from 1971 to 1990, then first Vice-Chancellor of CSU until 2001).
You can spend time with community members who led the Councils of the three institutions: Peter Hastie Oval (first chairman of the RCAE Council from 1970), James Hagan Court (RMIHE Council Chairman), and David Asimus Court (inaugural CSU Chancellor).
As you browse in the Merrylees Library, remember Dr William Merrylees, the man who fought so hard for a Riverina rural university. And if you still want to know more, visit the CSU Regional Archives in the Blakemore Building on South Campus (George Blakemore, first principal, Wagga Teachers College).
Information researched by Nancy Blacklow