Original CQUniversity Vice Chancellor Geoff Wilson has passed away.
Original CQUniversity Vice Chancellor Geoff Wilson has passed away.

'Champion of education': Adored CQ university figure dies

CQUNIVERSITY'S foundational vice-chancellor, Emeritus Professor Geoff Wilson sadly passed away at his home in Geelong on Thursday.

Emeritus Professor Wilson was CQUniversity's first vice-chancellor and president and served in the role from 1991-1996.

He was instrumental in the-then University College of Central Queensland, being granted full university status in 1992 to become Central Queensland University (and later CQUniversity Australia).

Emeritus Professor Wilson also led the development of campuses outside of the Rockhampton region, including Gladstone, Mackay and Bundaberg, and the University's first metropolitan campus in Sydney.

CQUniversity's current chancellor, Mr John Abbott paid tribute to Emeritus Professor Wilson by saying that he was a driving force behind both the establishment and ongoing success of the university.

Mr Abbott was saddened to learn of his passing.

"He was instrumental in establishing our great university and his initial vision has helped it to grow in the almost three decades that have followed," he said.

"Geoff was a champion of education, regional Australia and working with communities.

"The work he did to establish a full university presence in Central Queensland has allowed thousands of local students to achieve a university education and remain in the region.

"The entire Central Queensland region is richer for his extraordinary contribution to higher education, he certainly leaves behind strong and important legacy."

CQUniversity's current vice-chancellor and president, Professor Nick Klomp also paid tribute to Emeritus Professor Wilson, and his leadership vision.

"Emeritus Professor Wilson was the person who really spearheaded CQUniversity's commitment to community engagement, inclusion and distance education.

"His original vision for the University is one of the reasons why we are so successful today and why we are known as one of Australia's most engaged and inclusive universities.

"He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by everyone who worked with him, as he was a truly exceptional leader.

"On behalf of everyone at CQUniversity, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to Professor Wilson's family."

After his time as Vice-Chancellor of CQUniversity, Emeritus Professor Wilson then went onto become vice-chancellor of Deakin University.

On October 1 2002, building nine at CQUniversity's Rockhampton North campus was opened and named after him.

During the ceremony, Professor Wilson told assembled guests that coming back to CQU was like "coming home".

The Geoff Wilson Building continues to house researchers engaged in science and research activity.