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Celebrating the foundation of the Burgmann experience

In 2021, Burgmann College celebrates 50 years as a premier provider of student residential accommodation. Last month, residents, alumni and friends gathered for the first highlight of the College’s 50th Anniversary calendar, the commemoration of our foundations.

The event on Wednesday 31 March was an opportunity to honour the day when, in 1968, then Minister for Education and Science, the Hon Malcolm Fraser, laid our College Foundation Stone.

Special guest speakers shared their reflections, wisdom and vision for a “Bigger Burgmann”, alongside the unveiling of the new College Master Plan.

Chair of the College Council and Board of Management Greg Mills said the 50 year milestone was ”an important opportunity for us to build upon the legacy of Burgmann, in order that, as the world changes around us, we too adapt the experience we offer”.

Principal Sally Renouf set out the vision for the new Master Plan, which embodies the founding ethos of the College while developing modern, innovative new spaces to enhance the unique residential experience Burgmann has always offered.

Sally said that “the Master Plan puts residents and the community they create at the forefront”.

The Plan includes the expansion of the successful Residential Fellows program with dedicated accommodation; redevelopment of the undergraduate courtyard and BBQ area between the Homer and Barassi wings; and the creation of BurgSpace: a dedicated facility for education and engagement activities.

“The notion of developing the whole person within a supportive community is central to Burgmann’s ethos. BurgSpace will be a valuable and dynamic space to support the development of the whole person, and accessible not only to Burgmann residents and alumni, but the University and wider community” Sally said.

With the generous support of Burgmann residents who pledged $100,000 of the Resident Building Levy, current BRA President Isobel Kuo was delighted to launch a fundraising appeal for the Undergraduate Courtyard Redevelopment at the Commemoration event, alongside President of the Burgmann College Alumni Association Matthew Lobb.

“It’s such an exciting time to be a resident here at Burgmann College,” Isobel said.

“We have a really unique opportunity in this 50th year to reflect on what has come before us and to enhance our understanding of the history of this place. But this year is also about us—the residents who are here right now—and how our stories and our legacy will shape the history of Burgmann to come.

“We have an incredible opportunity to help realise the vision for this College for the next 50 years.”

Matthew Lobb said the Burgmann Alumni Association was thrilled to be part of the initiative. “I’m very pleased that the Master Plan seeks to build more inviting, engaging and innovative communal spaces…the Undergraduate Courtyard & BBQ area is a very special part of the college.”

We will be inviting members of our community to come together to help match residents’ extraordinary contribution, so that this vital communal space can be restored to its rightful place as a hub for daily lunch, study, social activity and community events.

Other formalities included an address by ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt, who paid tribute to the unique and vital role of Burgmann College in university life at ANU.

Professor Schmidt said “Places like Burgmann truly do have an enduring and important role for the University. Every person I have met from Burgmann has been able to go out and change the world for the better with more confidence and more ability because of their experience here. So I encourage you to keep that up for the next 50 years. We are truly proud to have you as part of the ANU community.”

Alumnus and inaugural President of the Burgmann College Alumni Association Robin Brown also shared a heartfelt poem he composed in honour of Burgmann’s 50th year.

Acting Principal Amelia Zaraftis says, “This event was an uplifting and meaningful start to our 50th anniversary celebrations and we’d like to say a very special thanks to all those who participated”.

See photos from the event

If you would like to make a gift to the Undergraduate Courtyard Redevelopment Appeal, please donate here.

For all updates on upcoming 50th Anniversary events, including Back to Burg Alumni Weekend (19-21 November), please click here.

Can you help us find our Lost Alumni? Please review the ‘Lost Lists’ and help us reconnect with these former residents so we can invite them to the festivities!

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(L - R) Architect Kevin Miller, Principal Sally Renouf and Bruce Glendinning
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Vice Chancellor, Brian Schmidt
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BRA President, Isobel Kuo and Bruce Glendinning
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Principal Sally Renouf
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