Duval College celebrates its 50th anniversary

Published 17 September 2009

tugowarDuval College at the University of New England will celebrate its 50th anniversary this weekend with a “Back to Duval” extravaganza.

An indoor sports competition, walking tours of the University, and even an archaeological dig are some of the activities planned for the weekend, which will run from Friday, September 18 to Sunday, September 20.

Edwina Ridgeway, principal of Duval College, said she was looking forward to a “trip down memory lane”, and that it had been a “great privilege to have had the wonderful longevity to work with so many people at such a defining time in their lives”.

Mrs Ridgeway has led the college for more than 30 years.

Former students are not the only ones looking forward to the festivities, as a number of former catering and cleaning staff are also expected to attend.

Construction of what was to become Duval College began in 1949 with the erection of two weatherboard huts, built as the first student accommodation on campus. Miss B. Bagnall in charge of women residents at that time.

By 1957, a further five huts had been built, and were now controlled by Mr Meredith following the departure of Miss Bagnall in 1952.

1959 saw the completion of the last two huts, enabling the housing of 117 women residents. In December of that year, the University Council resolved that the ‘Hill Residences’ would form the second women’s college (Mary White College was completed in 1958) and was to be called Duval College.

Since that time, Duval College has built a reputation for excellence in scholarship, sports and community service, most recently raising money for the Armidale Rural Referral Hospital with a 10 km “Duval to Duval” fun run.