Help us say ‘Goodbye Kuring-gai’!

4 August 2015

Kuring-gai campusWith the upcoming closure of UTS’s much loved Kuring-gai campus at the end of 2015 and relocation of staff and students to the city, we’re inviting our Kuring-gai based alumni, former staff, and friends to help us say farewell to our leafy northern campus, and share photos, memories and stories of their time at Kuring-gai.

Are you keen to come and say farewell to the campus? The university is currently planning farewell activities for graduates, current and former staff on Saturday 7 November. Please let us know if you would be interested in attending here, so we are able to gather an idea of how many would like to attend for planning purposes. We will do our best to help you connect with each other on the day and families will also be welcome.

Register to attend our Kuring-gai farewell event here.

Nursing alumni: Don’t miss our special celebration to mark the 30th Anniversary of Nursing!

"Although we are sad to be saying goodbye to Kuring-gai, this is an opportunity to connect with friends and colleagues, and recognise and celebrate, an important part of UTS’s history. I hope we can also establish an ongoing network for Kuring-gai alumni," said Rosanne Hunt, Deputy Director of Alumni Relations and Communications at UTS.

"Kuring-gai has a special place in the hearts of so many of our graduates and this is a wonderful chance for alumni to revisit the campus, and share their experiences with former classmates, past lecturers, and their friends and family," she said.

Emeritus Professor Tony Blake AM, who oversaw the amalgamation with UTS in 1990 and was the last Principal of the Kuring-gai College of Advanced Education (KCAE), becoming Deputy Vice-Chancellor and then Vice-Chancellor at UTS until 2002, said he had mixed emotions about the Kuring-gai campus’s closure, but was looking forward to seeing Kuring-gai’s collegiate culture and camaraderie flourish, as students and staff are transitioned to UTS’s city campus.

Students at Kuring-gai campus"The Kuring-gai campus might be closing, but its spirit is very much alive and well in UTS," Emeritus Professor Blake said. "Kuring-gai is a wonderful place – I think all the qualities at Kuring-gai, which like most organisations are ultimately in the people and the culture they generate, have transformed and flourished at UTS."

The Kuring-gai campus has a long history as a centre for educational excellence, with the Balmain Teachers’ College, founded in 1946 (later renamed William Balmain Teachers’ College), moving into the Lindfield location in 1971, before being renamed as the Kuring-gai College of Advanced Education in 1974.

Noted for more than just its bright green carpets, fuchsia hand rails and much-loved koi pond in the building’s main foyer, the strikingly modern campus was recognised as one of the most innovative educational buildings of its time – awarded the prestigious Sulman Medal for architecture in 1978 – and was also the subject of a photographic series by Max Dupain.

Over the years, more than 40,000 students across fields of education, nursing, library studies, business and law students have graduated from Kuring-gai.

"We want to collect and share the stories and memories of the students and staff who attended Kuring-gai – for many this was a formative period of their lives, and they have very fond memories of their time here," Ms Hunt said.

"We have even had alumni who met their future spouses at Kuring-gai, so we are looking forward to gathering stories and experiences and capture this important piece of the university’s history."

"Many of our Kuring-gai alumni pre-date our email records, so we encourage past students to get in touch, or share news of the farewell activities with former classmates they may still be in contact with – it will be a wonderful opportunity to reconnect," says Ms Hunt.

"2015 also marks the 30th anniversary of UTS’s nursing degrees, and our Health Faculty is also keen to reconnect with past students ahead of anniversary celebrations later in the year," she says.

Find out more about UTS’s 30th Anniversary of Nursing Celebration here.

Kuring-gai campus orientation in 1976The university is also planning on holding an exhibition at its city campus in early 2016 focusing on Kuring-gai’s contribution to the university’s history and culture, featuring student and staff memories of the campus, as well as artworks from its impressive art collection.  There will also be welcome events for students transitioning from Kuring-gai.

"I am looking forward to welcoming new students, current staff and alumni of Kuring-gai to the UTS city campus," said current UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs.

"We have shared a wonderful history together and I am sure that the valuable relationships formed there will continue to grow and flourish in the future and your presence will make the community here even more vibrant," said Professor Brungs.

The closure of the campus will see UTS consolidate its learning and research activities at its City campus in 2016. The Kuring-gai campus will be redeveloped by the Department of Education as an expansive, innovative learning public centre, encompassing pre-school, primary and high school education facilities, catering for as many as 3,000 students.

Memory lane: Share your favourite Kuring-gai memories!

Photos!

We’d love to include your photos from your time at Kuring-gai during our farewell celebrations. There are several ways you can share your photos – email them to alumni@uts.edu.au with a brief description, or if you’re feeling social, feel free to share them on Twitter, Instagram or on our UTS Alumni Facebook page, using the hashtag #GoodbyeKuringgai.

Our library colleagues have already started and are also welcoming contributions – check out their gallery of snaps on Flickr – from library tours, graduations, campus picnic, protests and more - you might even recognise yourself, or some of your fellow classmates!

Spread the word!

Hearkening back to the days of typewriters and calculating machines means we don’t have the email addresses or contact details for many of our alumni! Help us find former Kuring-gai students who may have lost touch and would be interested in being a part of our farewell by sharing this story, and encouraging them to keep in touch.

Alumni from KCAE and William Balmain Teachers’ College can also apply to be a part of our UTS:Origins network, recognising UTS’s many antecedent institutions that can be traced back as far as 1833.

Get involved!

If you’re interested in finding out more about how to get involved in our ‘farewell to Kuring-gai’ activities, or joining our Kuring-gai alumni network, please contact the UTS Alumni office.