The N.Z. University (Fig. 102) was established under the Act of 1870. At that time steps had been taken to organise a University in Otago, and in 1873 Canterbury College was founded. So that students in other portions of the Colony might not be placed at an undue disadvantage, certain institutions were given the status of affiliation. Wellington College occupied this position from 1872 to 1881. A grant of £300 to the local college was utilised in maintaining a natural science lectureship under Professor Kirk; classes were held in the evenings by the staff for the instruction of candidates for their degrees. In 1885 a Graduates' Association was formed, which assisted materially in keeping alive the agitation for a local University College. In 1894 “The Middle District of N.Z. University College Act” was passed, and in 1897 the Victoria College Act, to promote higher education by the establishment of a College at Wellington in commemoration of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, was passed. The pioneer professors arrived in the Colony at the end of March, 1899. Classes were organised and lectures began. The V.U.C. Calendar for 1928 contains further information for those interested, on page 128 of which will be found an alphabetical Roll of Graduates from 1901 to 1927.
The 1901 graduates to receive distinction were:—Alexandra Mary Brown, B.A.; Mary Rose (nee Greenfield), B.A.; and Frank David Thomson, B.A.