Godfrey Tanner

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Emeritus Professor
Godfrey Tanner
Born Ronald Godfrey Tanner
(1927-09-24)24 September 1927
Brisbane, Queensland
Died 10 July 2002(2002-07-10) (aged 74)
Newcastle, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Education Melbourne Grammar School
Alma mater University of Melbourne (MA)
University of Cambridge (MA)
University of Newcastle (Hon DUniv)
Occupation Academic
Years active 1949–2002
Employer University of Newcastle
Title Emeritus Professor of Classics
Religion Anglican[1]

Ronald Godfrey Tanner FRGS (24 September 1927 – 10 July 2002) was an Australian professor of classics, associated for the greater part of his career with the University of Newcastle. Educated at Melbourne and Cambridge, Tanner was appointed to Newcastle University College (NUC) in 1959 and became renowned at the institution for his enthusiastic involvement in student life and for his eccentric character (he cycled about campus in full academic dress as a matter of course).[1][2]

Tanner was a key figure in the campaign for NUC's independence from the University of New South Wales.[1] According to University legend, Tanner officiated at a celebratory bonfire for the inaugural Autonomy Day, during which he poured goon libations onto the ground to "sanctify the land upon which the University rests".[3] The Godfrey Tanner Bar in the Shortland Building is named in his honour and provides $4.50 schooners for students on Wednesdays.


  1. ^ a b c Thompson, Matthew. "Obituary for Godfrey Tanner". The Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "The great Godfrey Tanner lives again in art". The University of Newcastle. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Grant of Arms – The University of Newcastle's Declaration of Independence". Archives Outside. NSW Government. Archived from the original on 30 September 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 

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