Spotlight on the collection: UQ legends - Dorothy Hill

DelveĀ into UQ's history & archives and discover some of the stories behind UQ buildings, libraries and campusesā€¦

Dorothy Hill Engineering and Sciences Library (Building 50)

Dorothy Hill (1907-1997), is one of the University of Queensland's most distinguished academics. She won numerous awards and honours as a student, earning Honours and the University Medal as an undergraduate and winning a scholarship to earn her PhD at Cambridge.

She was appointed Research Chair in Geology and Mineralogy at UQ in 1959, the first woman in Australia to Chair a department. After her retirement in 1972, the Geology Department founded the Dorothy Hill Chair in Palaeontology and Stratigraphy. Her grotesque in the Great Court depicts her with corals, the focus of much of her research.

Hill published prolifically in the fields of geology and palaeontology and over the course of her career she amassed quite a collection of accolades, including the Lyell Medal, the Mueller Medal, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and Queenslander of the Year.

Dorothy Hill with Queenslander of the Year Award, 1972. The University of Queensland, Fryer Library
Dorothy Hill with Queenslander of the Year Award, 1972, Fryer Library University of Queensland Photograph collection, UQFL466, image AL/P/18.


Hill was not only an intellectual powerhouse, she was also regularly involved in sport and other campus activities. Her particular favourite was hockey, for which she became a Blue.

Women's hockey team University of Queensland Women's College, 1928, Fryer Library University of Queensland Photograph collection, UQFL466, image AM/P/31.

Dorothy Hill was also a long-time supporter of the University of Queensland Library. In 1997 the departmental Geology Library merged with the Physical Sciences and Engineering Library and the new Library was renamed in honour of Dorothy Hill.

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Last updated:
26 April 2018