John Behan (educationist)

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Sir John Behan, c. 1918

Sir John Clifford Valentine Behan (8 May 1881 – 30 September 1957) was the second warden of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne and the first Victorian Rhodes Scholar.

Behan was educated at Caulfield Grammar School (where in 1895 he was dux) and University High School in Melbourne, Australia and then at the University of Melbourne where he studied law and was awarded the Supreme Court Prize for being the top law student in his graduating class. Behan was selected as the first Rhodes Scholar for Victoria in 1904,[1] becoming the first recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship designated for an Australian student. He studied for both his Bachelor of Arts in jurisprudence and Bachelor of Civil Law degrees at Hertford College at the University of Oxford, was admitted to the Middle Temple of the Inns of Court and was a Fellow of University College at the University of Oxford, lecturing in law and became dean of the college in 1914.

Behan was Warden of Trinity College from May 1918 until his retirement in 1946; he had studied at the college on a scholarship during his undergraduate education and was the first alumnus of the college to become its head. He was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree from the university in 1924. He is the second longest serving warden of Trinity and was made a Knight Bachelor upon his retirement.[2]


  1. ^ University of Melbourne (2009). Rhodes Scholars Elected for Victoria Archived 6 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
  2. ^ Australian Honours (2006). Behan, John Clifford Valentine. Retrieved 2006-06-12.

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