Two students are sitting at a high desk with a microscope on it while they read a textbook

Foundation science students during biology studies. Image from the Griffith Archive collection.

‘First, here’s an exercise for you…’

These were Professor Emeritus David Pegg’s opening words at the first Griffith University lecture on this day 46 years ago. And the subject of this first lecture? Mathematics—a core subject at the time. The lecture took place in the Science 1 Building (Room 0.06) at Nathan campus, and the Mathematics exercise Pegg presented to those aspiring scholars in attendance was written on a blackboard. A real blackboard, that is, not a virtual one!

Eighty-six students began with the School of Science in 1975, and along with the foundation Mathematics subject, students were also required to complete both Foundations of Science and Science, Technology and Society in their first year of study. Students could then specialise/major (known back then as an area of concentration) in one of the following: Experimental Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Physics or Biological Chemistry.

Professor Pegg would go on to teach at Griffith for almost 35 years, enjoying a distinguished academic career of international standing before retiring in 2009. To this day, Professor Pegg remains a regular visitor to campus and is still in contact with some of the students from his very first lecture.

You can hear more from Professor Pegg about the very first Griffith University lecture here.

Professor David Pegg is drawing a mathematics problem on a whiteboard

Professor Pegg prepares to present a lecture. Image from the Griffith Archive collection.