ANU by numbers

70 years of ANU

Much has happened to the national university during the past seven decades. Turn back time and look through 70 important dates for ANU.

ANU by numbers

Much has happened to the national university during the past seven decades. Turn back time and look through 70 important dates for ANU.

1924

  • Mount Stromlo Observatory opens.

1929

  • Canberra University College opens.

1946

  • The Australian National University Act passed by Federal Parliament. ANU is established.
  • The first meeting of the ANU Interim Council takes place in Parliament House.

1948

  • Sir Douglas Copland is the first ANU Vice-Chancellor.
  • Arthur McDonald appointed University Librarian.

1949

  • Foundation stones of The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Research School of Physical Sciences and University House laid by Prime Minister Ben Chifley.
  • Manning Clark appointed Chair of History.

1950

  • Economist Trevor Swan appointed the first ANU Chair of Economics.
  • Geoffrey Sawer becomes first ANU Professor of Law.

1951

  • First ANU Council meeting.
  • First Honorary Doctor of Laws conferred on Sir Robert Garran.

1952

  • Lord Bruce is the first ANU Chancellor.
  • First edition of Woroni printed.

1954

  • University House opens.

1958

  • ANU historians lead the foundation of the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

1960

  • ANU amalgamates with Canberra University College.
  • Undergraduate teaching starts.

1961

  • Bruce Hall’s first residents move in.
  • The New Guinea Research Unit opens in the Research School of Pacific Studies.

1963

  • Chifley and Menzies Libraries open.
  • Sir John Eccles shares the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

1964

  • Lake Burley Griffin is filled.
  • First PhD in General Studies awarded to Barbara Gilliam.
  • Hanna Neumann appointed first female ANU professor.

1965

  • The Australian Forestry School integrates into ANU.  

1967

  • The Research Schools of Chemistry and Biological Sciences established.

1968

  • ANU Computer Centre established.

1970

  • Contemporary China Centre established.

1971

  • Separate Research School of Earth Sciences created from departments in the Research School of Physical Sciences.

1972

  • HC Coombs becomes Australian of the Year.

1973

  • North Australia Research Centre established.
  • Heavy Ion Accelerator opens.
  • Frank Fenner appointed Professor of Environmental Studies.

1974

  • Humanities Research Centre established.

1975

  • Kioloa campus opens on NSW south coast.

1976

  • Women’s studies program starts.

1980

  • Professor Mike Gore creates Questacon science and technology centre.

1981

  • Professor Leslie Zines’ seminal work on the High Court and Australian Constitution published.

1985

  • ANU students staff the first Shell Questacon Science Circus tour.

1987

  • The ANU Supercomputer Facility established.
  • Susan Bambrick becomes first female Master of University House.

1989

  • ANU Graduate School established.

1990

  • Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research founded.

1991

  • Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering established.

1992

  • Canberra Institute of the Arts – comprising the Canberra School of Music and the Canberra School of Art – amalgamates with ANU.

1993

  • Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology opens.

1994

  • Professor John Harsanyi shares Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
  • Many new Centres established, including the Centre for Middle Eastern and Central Asia Studies.

1995

  • Professor Brij Lal appointed by Fijian Government to review the country’s constitution.

1996

  • Professor Peter Doherty shares Nobel Prize for Medicine with ANU colleague Professor Rolf Zinkernagel.

1998

  • Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring observatories become the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
  • University Archives established.

2001

  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor positions for Research and Education created.
  • Professor Warwick McKibbin appointed to Reserve Bank of Australia Board.

2002

  • ANU Medical School opens.

2003

  • Mount Stromlo Observatory severely damaged by bushfires.
  • ANU Press is established to explore and enable new modes of scholarly publishing.

2004

  • The National Institute of the Arts amalgamates with the Faculty of Arts.

2006

  • ANU restructured, seven Colleges formed.

2007

  • ANU alumnus Kevin Rudd becomes Prime Minister.
  • A supercell storm heavily damages the ANU campus.

2011

  • Professor Brian Schmidt AC shares the Nobel Prize for Physics.

2013

  • Graham and Louise Tuckwell start the $50m Tuckwell Scholarship program.
  • Old Canberra House celebrates its 100th birthday.

2014

  • The University showcases its first digital opera L’Orfeo.
  • Professor David Lindenmayer awarded AO for service to conservation.

2015

  • New science precinct officially opens.

2016

  • ANU scientists part of international team that discovers gravitational waves.
  • Distinguished Professor Chenupatti Jagadish awarded AC for services to physics and engineering.