St. Mark's College (University of Adelaide)
|St Mark's College|
|University||University of Adelaide|
|Motto||Spernit Virtus Humum|
|Motto in English||Excellence Reaches for the Stars (lit. Excellence spurns the dry earth)|
|Named for||Mark the Evangelist|
|Gender||Co-educational since 1982, formerly all-male|
St Mark's College is a co-residential college in North Adelaide, South Australia. Founded in 1925, it is affiliated with the Anglican Church of Australia, yet accepts individuals from all faiths. It is the oldest residential college associated with the University of Adelaide and also accepts students attending the University of South Australia, Flinders University and South Australian technical colleges.
Located next to St Peter's Cathedral on Pennington Terrace, the college houses just over 230 tertiary students in both dormitory and apartment accommodation. Normally about 10% of the student body come from overseas countries including New Zealand, Canada, United States, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Germany. Approximately 3,500 former residents form the Old Collegians' Association.
- 1 History
- 2 Masters of the college
- 3 Governance
- 4 Scholarships
- 5 Accommodation
- 6 Buildings and grounds
- 7 College life
- 8 Sport
- 9 Notable alumni
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Foundation and opening
The foundation of St Mark's College was driven by the demand for student accommodation, which the University of Adelaide did not provide. The founders of the University believed that learning thrives best on 'haggis in a hovel', and that consequently there was no necessity for the provision of residence or its official control. It was thought that students should receive no tutorial assistance but rather sink or swim on a few lectures from their professors each week. The Reverend Julian Bickersteth led the drive to establish a residential college, with the Anglican Synod of the Diocese of Adelaide appointing a committee to that end in September 1920.
Early in December 1921, a meeting of the provisional committee was held at St Peter's College. Negotiation for a site for the college began in 1922. By the end of the year, H. W. Hodgetts secured options to purchase, for about £10,000, the historic residence of the late Sir John Downer at Pennington Terrace, North Adelaide, together with the adjoining land on Kermode Street, a horse paddock and some old cottages. This, with the subsequent purchase of neighbouring houses and land, gave room for a college of up to 150 students. While the proposed constitution fully safeguarded the Anglican character of the institution, it admitted a number of non-Anglicans to the council and opened the college freely to men of all faiths.
Progress was very slow during 1923 and 1924. The funds which had purchased the property would not also suffice to open the college. Realising that the small funds available prohibited any building, the council instructed the architect, Walter Bagot, to adapt the Downer House to accommodate a single, or temporarily detached married Master; twelve tutors and students; a cook-housekeeper garlanded with the title of Matron, and two or three maids. In December the committee considered some forty Australian and New Zealand applications for the Mastership, together with some forty English names forwarded to them by Sir Francis Wylie of the Rhodes Trust. They announced the Mastership of St Mark's was to be Sir Archibald Grenfell Price on 17 December.
The name of the college was the subject of some debate. Initially it was to be called Christ's College, but a movement soon developed for the name to be changed to King's. A compromise was reached to name the college St Mark's, after the Saint on whose day the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli took place. The University Council approved the affiliation of St Mark's, the first college of the University, on 31 October 1924.
A most interesting decision was the compromise on alcoholic liquors. The founders wished the college to avoid the occasional drinking orgies which they had seen in Oxford and Cambridge, and asked the Bishop to support a compromise which would make the college damp rather than either wet or dry. Under this arrangement the council would grant the students access to beer and light wines in regulated quantities, but spirits were rigidly excluded.
Early in March 1925, the first council was elected, a few days before the College opened. By 25 March the founders had entries from a resident tutor, A. E. M. Kirwood, M.A., a University Lecturer in English and a man of very fine character, and nine students, L. A. G. Symons, A. Walkley, Kells Price, S. J. Douglas, B. Griff, L. F. Casson, W. D. Walker, B.Sc., C. J. Glover and G. W. W. Browne. The college was opened by the Governor, Lieutenant-General Sir Tom Bridges, and blessed by Bishop Nutter Thomas. The College Coat of Arms and colours also date from the first year.
During the initial years accommodation and equipment were severely lacking due to shortage of funds and labour costs being extremely high before the depression. This brought on a continuous growth policy by piecemeal extensions, where the purchase of land and development of buildings was initiated when the college could afford it. The first stage of "New Wing" (Newland Building) was opened in 1926, and a second in 1927.
From the outset the Council placed a great emphasis on building up a resident and non-resident tutorial system; this emphasis has created a framework which is still in practice today. Scholarships and bursaries were also initiated early on to aid clever or needy students. The college also developed its societies and sporting culture early on. As early as 1928 a college "Wranglers' Club" was established to conduct debates and entertain distinguished guests. The College, as well as competing in the University games and societies of the time, also held internal games and sports as Intra-College sport did not exist. In 1934, St Mark's hosted the first inter-collegiate football match in South Australia, defeating Trinity College, Melbourne.
In 1939 the College seemed set for a period of steady if unspectacular advance in service to the community and more immediately to the University, when the Second World War intervened and was followed by an almost complete revaluation and reorganization of University life.
War, recovery and growth
In December 1940, the College was leased to the RAAF for the duration of the war. The remaining students were relocated to a lodging house in Kermode Street. During their tenancy, the RAAF made several improvements to the buildings which were subsequently purchased by the college.
Following the conclusion of the war, the college re-opened on 10 March 1946. A steady growth in numbers necessitated the purchase and rental of additional properties. In 1949, "North House" in Kermode Street was purchased, and "Montefiore" (which later became Aquinas College) was rented. The first stage of "Memorial Building", the second of the college's dormitory buildings, was completed in 1952. A new dining hall and library was built in 1961, two cottages on the western boundary (nicknamed Cain and Abel) were purchased in 1962, and couple of row houses on the east were purchased in 1963. An anonymous donation allowed the college to purchase the heritage listed Hawker House in 1970, completing the college's present extent.
1980 – present
St Mark's spent the closing years of the 20th Century moving towards the completion of its strategic building masterplan, aiming to eventually house a maximum of 250 students. In 1984, the Creswell Flats were renovated. In 1988, a computer room was established and in 1989, the "Hawker annexe" was renovated to provide additional accommodation. In 1996, a block of flat-style accommodation was erected on the northwestern corner of the college, named New Cain. The old cottages Cain and Abel were demolished in 2001 to make way for the New Abel extension, which opened in 2002. This complex was extended in 2007 to encompass the Lewis Building, and two new wings named the Matherson and Wall buildings. In 2004 the Allister McLeod Sports Pavilion, a 24-hour gym, was built on the eastern side of the tennis courts. The final major building works in the college's 2025 masterplan are redevelopments of the ageing buildings in the north-east and western boundaries of the college, for which the college is currently fundraising.
Masters of the college
The college has three administrative bodies; they are the Council, the Administration and the College Club Committee. The Council is made up of members of the Anglican Church, the University of Adelaide, St. Peter's College, the Old Collegian's Association and senior resident students. It is concerned with long term strategic planning and financing, and is largely separated from the college community. The Administration is responsible for the everyday running of the College.
The College Club is an entirely separate entity to the college administration. All undergraduate residents of the college are members of the College Club (or "Junior Common Room"). Their committee is elected each year by the students, and is composed entirely of students. The College Club Committee is primarily concerned with organising the many social and sporting events throughout the year, as well as intercollege relations with other college clubs in Adelaide and around Australia.
Over twenty scholarships are available to students either considering or already attending St. Mark's. There are various criteria applied to the different scholarships; they are variously open to students who show academic excellence, give service to the college, hail from remote areas, come from a background of financial hardship, have a disability or are seeking ordination in the Anglican church. Some are specifically for students studying a particular discipline (including agriculture, classics, engineering, medicine, music, science or theology). The total value of scholarships awarded annually usually exceeds $120,000. Most notably, the Charles Allan Seymour Hawker Scholarship covers all education and living expenses during the recipients' time at the college.
First year students (known as freshers) are allocated single rooms in one of the three co-residential dormitory buildings on campus: Newland (3 floors), Memorial (3 floors) and Hawker Annexe (1 floor). Each fresher "floor" is a semi-autonomous social group, looked after by a "Floor Tutor", a senior student who provides pastoral care and support for first-year students. Individual rooms are provided with Internet and phone connections, and there are shared laundry and bathroom facilities on each floor. All rooms and external doors are accessed by individual smart card locks.
More senior students may apply for specific rooms within the dormitory buildings, the much sought-after Hawker House mansion, or one of the many apartments with self-contained kitchen, lounge and bathroom facilities.
Buildings and grounds
There are eleven residential buildings at St. Mark's, including dormitories, apartments and heritage residences. The rooms vary in size and amenity, but all are equipped with bed, desk and wardrobe, wired internet connection and smart-card access. Each dormitory floor or apartment has its own shared bathroom and laundry facilities. There is also a 24-hour computer suite with printing facilities.
St Mark's College offers extracurricular opportunities in theater, music, journalism and community service. There are also a large number of social and cultural events each year, including O Week festivities, the College Ball, the College Play, a comedy night, numerous "Arts Evenings" to showcase student talent, the Prosh parade (traditionally led by St Mark's students), and a number of dinners. Most of these events are organised by the student body. Additionally, the dining hall serves Formal Hall (sit-down dinner in academic gowns) four nights per week during the academic year.
"Marksenfest" is the College's one event open to the general public, and is modeled on Oktoberfest. Hundreds of people come to the College grounds every year for the German-themed day. The event features an array of premium beers, plus food and festivities including a bouncy castle, sumo wrestling, arm wrestling, jelly wrestling, keg races, oom-pah band, jazz band, and a DJ or contemporary live band.
The Gas Truck
The college owns and maintains a 1936 Q-series Dodge truck. It was purchased by students in 1966 and has been restored several times, most recently in 2004. Known as the "Gas Truck" or "Gassie", it is used to transport collegians to and from social and sporting events, and is a favourite icon of the college.
St Mark's College competes in an inter-college sporting competition against Aquinas College, Flinders University Hall, Lincoln College and St Ann's College for the Douglas Irving Cup (formerly, and still usually referred to as, the High Table Cup). Competition takes place throughout the academic year in the following sports: tennis, swimming, cricket, debating, basketball, Australian Rules Football, soccer, netball, hockey, table tennis, volleyball and athletics.
With an Old Collegian's network of over 3500, St. Mark's College has been the home of many notable members of the community. These include: