Kathleen Lumley College is an institution with considerable history, and has produced many students of note in the South Australian community and beyond. Our former students have gone on to considerable achievement, and in all walks of life. KLC graduates have become published authors, university teachers and people who have found employment in, or affiliation with, a variety of companies and governments. Although small in student number, KLC’s residents come from a very wide range of nationalities, allowing us to boast of having one of the most cosmopolitan communities in Adelaide. College life is what its members make it, so they are encouraged to participate strongly and consistently in activities generated by the College’s Residents’ Association.
Kathleen Lumley College was established by formal Resolution of the Council of The University of Adelaide on 8 November 1965 as a non-demoninational residential college for postgraduate students. The prime movers in the founding of Kathleen Lumley College in the 1960s were the then Chancellor of the University of Adelaide Sir Kenneth Wills, Vice-Chancellor Sir Henry Basten, the President of the PGSA Colin Philips and the Chancellor’s sister, Mrs Kathleen Lumley. A very generous benefaction from Kathleen Lumley together with matching grants both from the State and Commonwealth Governments and a gift of land from The University of Adelaide facilitated the initial development of the College’s fabric. The College’s initial property holdings between Finniss Street and Mackinnon Parade, North Adelaide consisted of several 19th Century cottages on nine full size blocks. Three of the cottages were retained for student accommodation (for 12 students) and the remainder were demolished to make way for a new accommodation block (for 44 students), common room and dining facilities.
Subsequently (in the 1970s) the College purchased the property at 45 Finniss Street from The University of Adelaide at a discounted price. Funds for this purchase were obtained by way of a bank loan and a generous donation from the Lumley family. The land holdings of the College increased from nine to ten full size blocks and the capacity of the College increased from 56 to 60 residents.
In 1989 five properties (41, 43 and 65 Finniss Street and 111 and 123 Mackinnon Parade) were purchased from the University. Funds for the purchase of the five properties were obtained from a donation from the former Vice-Chancellor, Sir Henry Basten which inspired a subsequent donation from the Lumley family. The Lumleys have continued to be most generous to the College providing it with the ability to refurbish accommodation and common areas. The latest expansion of the College (a 17 room wing) was supported by a major financial contribution from the University of Adelaide. The new building (nick-named by residents as ‘The West Wing’) was opened to residents in 2009. The capacity of the College is currently 81 residents.
From October 1967, when the first six students entered the College, to the present day Kathleen Lumley College has provided accommodation for well over 4,000 postgraduate students and in addition has accommodated a substantial number of Senior Academic Visitors from at least 50 different countries. This remains a very important feature of the College, which is pleased and proud of its contributions both to Internationalisation and to postgraduate Education through scholarship and collegiality. Many have highlighted the fact that residence in the College has greatly enhanced their postgraduate educational experience.
Most of the students from the earlier period studied for higher degrees (usually PhDs) by research. A large percentage of the current residents are overseas students, many of them studying for advanced degrees by course-work.
The College prides itself on offering an inclusive and supportive community to its students; a feature that has characterised the College from its very origins. It has drawn strongly from its multicultural history. This College ethos informs the world view of our current and past residents.