First science students reunite after 40 years

Foundation Science students at their 20 year reunion in 1995
Foundation Science students at their 20 year reunion in 1995

What do a group of medical doctors, Air Force commanders, school principals, lecturers and IT business owners all have in common?

They were all among the very first students to study a Bachelor of Science at Griffith University 40 years ago.

And on March 14 the successful group of alumni will gather together for the 40 Year Foundation Science Student Reunion.

For Angela Tuffley it still feels like yesterday that she walked into the single building dedicated to science study surrounded by bush land at Nathan Campus in 1975.

Foundation Science students at their first graduation ceremony
Foundation Science students at their first graduation ceremony

There were no large lecture theaters, teaching and learning was via blackboard (the chalk kind) and computers were yet to hit the market.

No one realised then, but that very first day brought them together as a family and they’ve stayed in contact all these years.

“Our first year was very special because we were it,” Mrs Tuffley said.

“There were no second or third year students and we knew once we moved to second year it would all change.

“We became such a tight knit family and today I would still open my door to any of them.”

Mrs Tuffley said the major changes she had seen over the years were students having lecture material available online instead of writing everything out by hand, the introduction of photocopiers and seeing Griffith grow into a world class university.

Mrs Tuffley, who now runs her own IT consultancy, credits her successful working career to her study at Griffith University.

“Griffith pushed the boundaries and the academic staff were phenomenal,” she said.

“It was such as amazing group who have gone on to do such amazing things.”

Mrs Tuffley majored in physics and worked as a programmer and IT manager before returning to Griffith to study a Graduate Diploma in Software Quality and later became a Senior lecturer in the School of ICT.

Of the 87 of students first enrolled, 18 of them went on to complete their PhD, three became medical doctors, one joined the Air Force, another became a pro-vice chancellor and many became teachers, lecturers and leaders in the public service and industry.

The Reunion will be held at Nathan Campus Uni Bar and Function Centre, corner of West Creek Road and Science Road, Nathan from 3pm to 9pm.

It’s not too late to attend, email a.tuffley@griffith.edu.au to express your interest.