Lessons from history

'That old chestnut' is how the thorny question of our University's name has often been referred to.

  • The first choice of name for our ‘founder’ Premier Robert Stout—a civic university champion—was Wellington University College (of the University of New Zealand).
  • When his first choice was defeated, Premier Stout proposed the new university be called Middle District of New Zealand University College—also to no avail.
  • When Premier Richard Seddon suggested the name Victoria College would be a fitting way for the colony to mark the Queen’s 60th jubilee year, ‘the house was loathe to disagree’.
  • Adopting the name Victoria University of Wellington in 1955 was a compromise reached after much debate by staff and students over whether we should be Victoria University or the University of Wellington.
  • In our history, changing to University of Wellington has been attempted three times—in 1955, 1972 and 1992.