Sir Theodor Bray (1905-2000) – Griffith’s First Chancellor

In 1970, Sir Theodor Bray accepted the challenge of the State Education Minister of the time to plan a second University in Brisbane. From the outset, he was intimately involved in the day-to-day work and development of the University. He chaired Griffith University’s Interim Council and First Council, and was elected first Chancellor of the University in 1975. In the same year he was created a Knight Bachelor for service to education.

Under Sir Theodor’s expert guidance, Griffith was planned and began teaching in the climate of social change of the seventies. As Chancellor from 1975-1985, he was committed to establishing a university that offered an alternative higher education experience to that already available in Queensland. This vision was reflected in Sir Theodor’s efforts to establish Australia’s first School of Modern Asian Studies.

“If we do nothing else in this university,” he said, “we will teach Asian Studies and we willcultivate good relations between Asia and its neighbours around the Pacific Rim”.

In all matters, Sir Theodor made the good of Griffith University his overriding concern. His immersion in both the business and social life of the University grew from a strong sense of obligation and genuine interest and affection for the institution, its staff and students.