College community thanks Dr Markwell

College community thanks Dr Markwell

2 years ago

The Warden’s close and effective work with student leaders to improve the College was among the aspects of his leadership that were highlighted at the recent farewell dinner for Dr Markwell.

In a moving speech of thanks at the dinner in Hall on 19 September, the Senior Student, Mr Max Glanville, said that the Students’ Club Committees of 2018 and 2019 have “had the pleasure of working closely alongside the Warden to help improve our beloved college”. 

“In what was a period of high scrutiny of and pressure on the College, the Warden guided us through a journey of cultural renewal and helped us appreciate the importance of the cultural renewal process. Importantly, he made it our journey.

“The Warden built a synergetic relationship between the staff and the students to the benefit of the College as a whole and that is the mark of a great leader.”

Max continued: “Warden, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work so closely with you and on behalf of the students we are so grateful for the work we have done together for this College.

“We will all miss your humour, your presence, your conversations and most of all the way you care about us.”

Speaking in drinks before dinner that were sponsored by the St Paul’s College Women’s Organisation, Ms Margie Sullivan spoke of the vision and courage that were needed to uphold the College’s finest values and thanked Dr Markwell warmly for his leadership.

Ms Sullivan emphasised the importance of the College Council ensuring that the work which was underway continued strongly.

Speaking on behalf of alumni, Dr James Renwick CSC SC shared these sentiments, and also highlighted how the Warden’s experience in government, as well as as “a constitutional scholar of international repute”, had been brought “to bear in the frankly astonishing achievement of shepherding a new St Paul’s College Act – replacing the 1850s version – through Parliament without a single division, that is, on the voices”.

“If you think that is unremarkable, then, like Humphrey Bogart’s character in Casablanca, you have been misinformed.”

In thanking Dr Markwell on behalf of the University of Sydney, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence AC, spoke of him as “an extraordinary colleague” who had “made a tremendous contribution to the collegiate community at the University of Sydney”, including “in that rich relationship between the University and collegiate community”.

Dr Spence said that the Warden “embodies the values on which this College was founded, and that in so many ways it has given voice to over 160 years”. 

Dr Markwell, he said, “is a good man” who cares for students and also thinks strategically, all this “informed by a strong sense of justice, by a desire to do the right and by a desire to serve”.

The Chair of the College Council, Mr Mark Elliott, spoke of his gratitude to the Warden for his very hard and effective work for the College, including in developing and implementing the Action Plan arising from the Broderick Report, securing the new College Act, and overseeing a period of rapid expansion for the College, including the creation of Graduate House.

Mr Elliott emphasised the College Council’s commitment to continuing the cultural renewal work which was well underway thanks to Dr Markwell’s leadership.

Dr Markwell, responding to what he described as “very generous remarks”, spoke of his thanks to “all those who have supported and contributed to the College’s continual development”.

He said that he would especially miss the students and staff of the College.

“I will miss the positive energy, the camaraderie, the sense of community and belonging, ‘the fellowship of friends’. These qualities, which so greatly enrich the all-round education of our students, are very evident both in our undergraduate community and in our Graduate House community that has come together this year.

“I will miss so many students I have come to know and admire.

“I will also miss my work together with student leaders here. At the heart of the continuing renewal of the College last year and this has been working together with student leaders to identify and to do what is needed.”

“The College has been deeply fortunate that the Senior Student for 2018, Barney Archibald, and for this year, Max Glanville, are both outstanding leaders who know what is right and what is wrong, who – precisely because they care about the College and its students – face up with realism to its weaknesses as well as its strengths, who understand our strategic context and continuing vulnerability and the scrutiny we remain under, who work together in a spirit of goodwill with staff and other students to think through what action is needed, and who have the courage to do what is right, accepting as natural and un-alarming that not everyone will agree, and the wisdom to turn difficult situations into opportunities for learning and for progress. 

“These student leaders provide an example for leaders of all generations. It has been a joy to work with both of them, and I want to thank them most profoundly – and to join in that my warm thanks to other student leaders of both years for what they have done and what they are doing.”

Addressing all the students and guests, Dr Markwell concluded: “I will miss you guys.”

The dinner was followed by a choral Evensong, during which the Archbishop, the Most Rev’d Dr Glenn Davies, gave thanks for the Warden’s “unwavering commitment to collegiate education, [and] to working with students, staff, Council, fellow Heads of Colleges, the University and Members of Parliament to ensure the best possible student experience for those entrusted to his care.”

The Chaplain, the Rev’d Antony Weiss, spoke of cultural renewal at the College as “us being true to what we say that we are and showing integrity and honour by doing what we have promised to do”. 

Paying tribute to what had already been achieved under Dr Markwell’s leadership, the Chaplain said that “there is much that still needs to be done”.

“Any notion of turning back and the College will definitely have a battle for its survival.”

“St Paul’s College is to be a modern, outward looking Christian college in the Anglican tradition that needs to be wholly committed to continuing the process for cultural renewal”, he said.

A farewell dinner for the Warden was also recently held at Graduate House. For the Warden’s speech on this occasion, click here.

Dr Markwell concludes his service as Warden of St Paul’s on Monday 30 September, and commences as Head of St Mark’s College, Adelaide, in early November.

For a video of the speeches during the farewell dinner for the Warden in Hall on 19 September, click here.

For the texts of speeches at the dinner:

For the order of service for the Evensong and liturgical farewell, click here

For the sermon by the Rev’d Antony Weiss, click here

Pictured above:

– Mr Max Glanville, Senior Student, addresses the Hall
– Ms Margie Sullivan, St Paul’s College Women’s Organisation, speaking before dinner
– Dr Don Markwell, Warden of St Paul’s College, thanks students and friends of the College
– Mr Max Glanville, Senior Student, and the high table