Happy 90th Birthday BCom
When the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) commenced 90 years ago, there were 10 students, six academic staff members (above), and 14 subjects on offer. Sir Douglas Copland was the Dean and he became the inaugural Sidney Myer Chair of Commerce two years later. Six of the Faculty’s first ten Bachelor of Commerce degrees were awarded to qualified accountants who took the degree to broaden their knowledge of the business sciences. One of the inaugural students in the BCom was Miss Harriet Amies (pictured below), the first female BCom graduate, not only of the University of Melbourne, but also in the state of Victoria. Miss Amies was just 17 when she enrolled in the BCom in 1925 on a Free Place which covered tuition fees but no living allowance. Another notable alumnus of the early Bachelor of Commerce was Sir Alex Fitzgerald, a full-time accountant and Partner in his firm Fitzgerald & Thompson and already a part-time Arts student at the University. When the Commerce Faculty commenced in 1925, Sir Alex became part-time student and part-time lecturer, using his professional experience to assist in the instruction of Accountancy 1, while enrolling as a student in Economic Geography and Economic History.
(Miss Harriett Amies)
Fast forward 90 years and the Bachelor of Commerce has seen a record-breaking 1702 new students in the Semester 1, 2015 intake. 44% of those students are international students, and 48% are female. Professor Paul Kofman and Professor Zeger Degraeve are co-Deans of the Faculty, and, like Sir Douglas before him, Professor Kofman is also the Sidney Myer Chair of Commerce. There are over 270 academic staff members in the Faculty and 57,000 alumni in 89 countries across the globe, including some of Australia’s most prominent business and political leaders.
From famous comedians to Wall Street executives, the BCom alumni community spans countries, industries, organisations and disciplines. We are immensely proud of our alumni and of the Bachelor of Commerce itself. We would love to hear your stories and what it means to you to be a BCom graduate. Email our Community Engagement Officer, Lauren and tell us what you’ve been doing since graduation.
Here’s to the next 90 years!