Professor Alexander Cambitoglou AO was a resident tutor at Paul’s from 1961 to 1967. He died in 2019 at the age of 97 and has left an enormous legacy to the University of $6 million for the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens which he founded in 1980 with connections to 16 foreign institutes in Greece.
In 1961, at the invitation of Professor A D Trendall, Alexander Cambitoglou came from Greece to Sydney University and was appointed a Senior Lecturer in Classical Archaeology. Needing somewhere to live near-by he was welcomed to the College by the Warden, Rev’d Dr Felix Arnott, where he stayed for six years and part of the Warden’s attempt to create a Senior Common Room with “reputation and purpose within the University”. By 1963 there were 39 tutors on the list, nine in residence (Atkinson, Hearts and Minds, 2019 p.356).
Professor Trendall, who was Chair of Greek at the University was also the Curator of the Nicholson Museum from 1939 to 1954. In this post he was succeeded by Professor James Stewart and with his untimely death in 1962, Cambitoglou found himself thrust into the role of Acting Curator then Curator of the Nicholson Museum. He became Professor of Classical Archaeology in 1963.
St Paul’s has numerous other archaeological links not the least include Dr James Fraser (in College 2001-03) who was Senior Curator at the Nicholson Museum from 2017 to 2020. He is now Assistant Keeper (Curator), Ancient Levant and Anatolia at the British Museum. Also Dr Ted Robinson (in College 1979-82) is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Sydney.
From his Valete in The Pauline 1967:
He was the proud possessor of a Quad Hi-Fi system … he would explain his purchase by stating matter-of-factly: “Why? … Well, its de best.” Of this man, a perfectionist in all things, a more appropriate summing up would be hard to find.
Picture above: Prof A Cambitoglou in the 1963 College photo.