Jeremy McDonald Steele

The title of Honorary Fellow of the University was conferred upon Jeremy Macdonald Steele at the Faculty of Arts graduation ceremony held at 4.00pm on 23 April 2008.

Photo above Professor Bruce Sutton, Chair of the Academic Board and Mr Steele, courtesy Memento Photography.

Chancellor, I present to you Jeremy Macdonald Steele, Bachelor of Arts of the University of Keele and Master of Arts of Macquarie University, for the conferring of the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.

Mr Steele has had a close association with The University of Sydney for 34 years during which time he has been singularly effective in revealing the life and history of the University to students, staff and the wider community.

From 1974 to 1998 Mr Steele was a member of the staff of the University and held a number of senior positions, including officer-in-charge of Registrar’s Publications, head of the Office of Graduate and Community Relations and executive officer of the Engineering Advancement Office. In this last capacity he produced, mostly in his own time, 20 quarterly issues of the PNR Periodical, a magazine saturated with interesting and valuable information for graduates of the Faculty of Engineering.

Mr Steele was largely responsible for the Open Days which are now a feature of the University’s calendar. In 1978 and 1979 he was Director of the University’s Welcome Days and in 1980, 1984 and 1988 he was Co-Director of the University’s first three Open Days. In 1981 he was Executive Director of the Son-et-Lumière held in the Great Hall and in 1987 he was Convenor of Back-to-Sydney-U, the inaugural alumni reunion weekend.

Mr Steele has conducted a very large number of walking tours for visitors and members of the University over the past 30 years and has written, designed and published over 40 works connected with the University’s buildings, colleges, and history. These include finding aids for students and authoritative booklets on the older buildings. Without doubt, Mr Steele knows more about the gargoyles in the main quadrangle than any other living person!

Mr Steele was a Director of the University of Sydney Club for twelve years, a Councillor of the Royal Australian Historical Society for ten years and in 2006 he graduated Master of Arts at Macquarie University with a thesis on the aboriginal languages spoken around Sydney in the early years of European settlement.

For the past thirteen years Mr Steele has been Chairman of the University’s Chancellor’s Committee. In this capacity he has presided over dozens of meetings and supervised the annual Book Sale and the subsequent distribution of funds for worthy causes within the University.

Few members of the University community can match Mr Steele’s abundant love of the University and his ability to convey his enthusiasm and knowledge to others.

Chancellor, I present to you Jeremy Macdonald Steele and invite you to confer upon him the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.