Our university takes its name from Sir Samuel Walker Griffith. A former Queensland Premier, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland and Australia's first Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia. Sir Samuel also co-drafted the Australian Constitution which sees him recognised as a founding father of federated Australia. Sir Samuel was considered a free-thinker, an innovator, a visionary. Attributes that were inherent in our university's founders. Our foundation Chancellor (Sir Theodor Bray) and Vice Chancellor (Professor F. John Willett) had to be creative and resourceful as they sort to establish our organisation. In just four years, they physically built our university and infrastructure from the ground up, founded four new Schools (two of which were Australian university firsts) and appointed the necessary academic staff, designed a range of pioneering courses and alternative teaching practices and set-up the necessary administrative networks to run our institution. This was all done with the most basic of briefs being provided by the Queensland Government of the time - Plan a second university institution for Brisbane. A remarkable effort.
Our people have continued over the course of our history to build on the examples set by our namesake and founding fathers. Our second Vice Chancellor upon retirement, Professor Roy Webb, was the longest serving Vice Chancellor (at the time) of any Australian university with seventeen years in office. Our fourth Chancellor, Leneen Forde, was the second woman to serve as Chancellor of an Australian university and the first female Governor of Queensland. Our previous Vice Chancellor, Professor Ian O'Connor was appointed by the Queensland Government in 2007 as one of only eight Smart State Ambassadors - charged with promoting the state both here and abroad as a world-class destination for scientific research, innovation and creative industries. Today, with our first female Vice Chancellor Professor Carolyn Evans at the helm, we will continue to be a university of inclusion and influence that produces students that remain like our namesake Sir Samuel Griffith - remarkable.