History of the Faculty

Historical Photo

The University of Waikato was four years old in 1968 when the founding Vice-Chancellor Don Llewellyn received funding from the University Grants Committee (UGC) to build a School of Science.

As the science buildings took shape the four foundation professors, chemist Alex Wilson, who became the first dean, soil scientist John McCraw, biologist Jim Prendergrast, and physicist Bruce Liley, worked in a prefab hut preparing for the first intake of science students.

Prof McCraw recalls the expectations of those days: "They give you an ex-army hut, you go out to a rubbish tip to get your equipment, and you make a start. Then you get money as time goes on".

In March 1970, the new School of Science opened its doors and has since evolved from demonstrating random selection with pingpong ball experiments to launching rockets from the University's rugby grounds.

50th Anniversary

The University of Waikato celebrated 50 years of teaching and research excellence in 2014. Find out more