Sir Theodor Bray
Founding Griffith University was my second career. On retiring as Joint Managing Director of Queensland Newspapers on June 30, 1970, aged 65, I looked for something to do.
Sir Theodor Bray (1905-2000) was born in South Australia and began his working life as a fifteen year old employee in a vineyard before shortly after taking up a position as an apprentice printer with an Adelaide newspaper. This decision saw Sir Theodor embark upon a distinguished 50 year journalistic career, which included 26 years as editor of the Brisbane newspaper The Courier-Mail and eventually saw him retire as the joint Managing-Director of this publication.
In December 1970 the Queensland Education Minister, Sir Alan Fletcher, approached Sir Theodor with the task of creating a second Brisbane university - Griffith University. After some reluctance, Sir Theodor accepted this challenge and immediately became involved in the planning and development of the University. He continued this close affinity as Griffith grew from a concept into an operating university by immersing himself in both the business and social life of the organisation.
Sir Theodor was a brilliant man and achieved many firsts as Griffith University's inaugural Chancellor. These firsts included establishing the Schools of Modern Asian Studies and Australian Environmental Studies when at the time, no such schools existed in any other Australian university. He considered the establishment of Griffith University to be his greatest achievement and he was knighted in January of 1975 for his services to education and journalism. The Bray Centre building at the organisation's Nathan campus is named in memory of him. Sir Theodor Bray will be remembered and honoured as the Founding Father of Griffith University.