“The University he created remains his monument.”
After 16 years at the University that he built, Dr Louis Matheson announced his retirement. “A University is much more than buildings,” wrote the Council Appreciation Minutes at his last meeting.
Sir Louis’ leadership had created one of Australia’s best universities from a muddy construction site. He was responsible for assembling the foundation staff and establishing the early directions of the university. He collected a group of talented, innovative academics to lead his faculties, striving to appoint people of ‘proved intellectual power, imagination and integrity’.
Sir Louis was directly involved in the academic development of Monash in the early years but was not interfering. Professors found him warm yet commanding. New professors were welcomed by the vice-chancellor and his wife to dinner at their house on-campus.
Despite the conflicts of his later years, Sir Louis was both respected and supported by Monash’s staff and students.
Matheson’s retirement, from the Professorial Board Minutes of Appreciation.