Valedictory Dinner 2017

This year thirty four students were presented to the College as Valedictorians at a formal dinner on Tuesday 17th October. It was a pleasure to host a number of distinguished guests, including Professor Joanne Wright, Deputy Vice Chancellor at UQ, members of the Board of Governors, staff and last year’s College medallist Ms Sophie Davis.

Our guest speaker this year was Adjunct Professor Dr Russell Stitz, a distinguished colorectal surgeon who pioneered the development of laparoscopic colorectal surgery and who has published and presented on many aspects of colorectal disease. Dr Stitz is an Old Cromwellian having resided at the college as a student from 1961 – 1965.

During his working life he was a Senior Surgeon at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) and at the Wesley Hospital. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland and previously was the Professor of Clinical Surgery at RBWH.

He has achieved a great deal in his professional life and, early in 2015, the New Operating Complex at the Wesley Hospital was named after Dr Stitz in recognition of the contributions he has made over a 45-year career.

In his address Dr Stitz reflected on his time at the College, the challenges he faced through his years of study and in his profession, and traits, such as professionalism, that are needed to excel in today’s workplace.

In a short address, the Secretary of COCA, Mr Alan Wrigley, welcomed all the Valedictorians into COCA and highlighted the benefits of maintaining an association with the college in years to come, particularly networking.

Our Principal, once again wove his literary magic by putting together his annual “fairy tale” combining the Valedictorian’s names and Fresher names, which always proves to be a significant challenge, particularly when some Fresher names are quite obscure or lengthy.

Ms Bronte Holding, a Valedictorian, provided a musical highlight on the night by singing “Don’t Dream It’s Over”, by Crowded House. A very apt song choice for the night. The evening finished with what has become a tradition, with the Valedictorians recessing to a song of their choice, this year being Closing Time by Semisonic.

Special thanks to the kitchen, maintenance and administrative staff at the College who once again proved to be invaluable support in preparing the dining room and catering to students, staff and guests.

Please see our Cromwell College Facebook album to see photos from the night.....