Former UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor McKinnon and UOW alumna Suzanne Walker.

Former Vice-Chancellor and wife gift $5 million for research fellowships

Former Vice-Chancellor and wife gift $5 million for research fellowships

McKinnon Walker Fellowship Fund will enrich students’ research experience

Former University of Wollongong (UOW) Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Ken McKinnon AO and Suzanne Walker, a UOW alumna, have gifted the University $5 million to support higher degree research fellowships at the University in perpetuity.

The gift is one of the largest in UOW’s history and will encourage academic excellence and build the capacity of recipients to contribute beyond their specialist research areas.

Professor McKinnon is a part of UOW’s history and was the University’s second Vice-Chancellor, serving from 1981 to his retirement in 1995.

“With the University of Wollongong celebrating its 50th anniversary next year we wanted to make a contribution that would continue to serve the University, its communities and the nation well into the future,” Professor McKinnon said.

Professor McKinnon played a key role in UOW’s rapid development, from a college serving the local steel industry, to a modern university with world-class research and exceptional teaching quality.

His vision and leadership led to UOW’s famous and much-loved green campus setting, the commitment to educating students in many ways, the opening of new faculties, and the successful establishment of the University of Wollongong in Dubai.

UOW alumna Suzanne Walker, former UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor McKinnon, and current UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Patricia Davidson

Current UOW Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Patricia Davidson paid tribute to Professor McKinnon and Ms Walker for their inspirational gift and the leadership it will provide to generations of future scholars.

“From the very start of his term as Vice-Chancellor, Professor McKinnon’s vision was that the University of Wollongong should and would aspire to excellence on the world stage, while supporting and reflecting the communities it served. It is a legacy that we continue to honour and that we are dedicated to living up to,” Professor Davidson said.

“This generous gift from Professor McKinnon and Ms Walker will further add to that legacy, ensuring that future McKinnon Walker Research Fellows strive for excellence and to provide leadership for our communities.”