Towards our second century – marking our Centenary in 2025

Towards Our Second Century

Towards our second century - marking our Centenary in 2025

After careful planning that began in 1920, St Mark’s College was officially opened on 15 March 1925.

In 2025, the College will celebrate its Centenary.

Preparation for the Centenary involves:

  • a new strategic plan for the College, "Towards our second century: a strategy for St Mark's College"
  • commissioning a Centenary history
  • preparing for major events to mark the Centenary, including on the 100th anniversary of the official opening (Saturday 15 March 2025), and
  • preparing for a Centenary fundraising campaign, including working to support all students who need it through a major expansion of scholarships and other financial support for students.

To help to involve Old Collegians and friends of the College in the Centenary, the College has appointed Ms Karin Dunsford as Director of Centenary Engagement. There’s information about Karin here. She may be contacted by email here or on (08) 8334 5600.

New strategic plan - "Towards our second century: a strategy for St Mark's College"

As the College looks to its Centenary, in May 2022 the College's Board adopted an ambitious new strategic plan following extensive consultation.

Following calls for input in e-newsletters and in other ways, valuable feedback was received from Old Collegians and friends of the College, current student leaders, the St Mark's College Foundation Board, and College staff.

The Board carefully considered all input, and formally adopted the new strategic plan, "Towards our second century: a strategy for St Mark's College".

The first annual review of the strategic plan was in May 2023, when it was slightly amended and updated.

The plan has seven strategic priorities:

1. Actively encouraging academic excellence and supporting career preparation

2. Promoting student wellbeing and belonging in a safe, respectful, diverse, and inclusive community

3. Working to support all students who need it, and to promote excellence and diversity, through a major expansion of scholarships and other financial support for students

4. Developing the strongest team of staff who contribute to an exceptional student learning experience

5. Providing outstanding facilities and services in an inspiring and sustainable physical environment

6. Developing the financial resources needed to achieve these priorities

7. Engaging our alumni and friends in lifelong connections and in positioning St Mark’s for its second century.

The College’s strategic plan may be found here.

Centenary history

A Centenary history has been commissioned, to cover the College’s first 100 years.

It is being researched and written by two highly regarded historians from the University of Adelaide, Associate Professor Paul Sendziuk and Dr Carolyn Collins. More details of the Centenary historians are here.

Do you have a story to share about living at St Mark’s College?

Associate Professor Sendziuk and Dr Collins are keen to hear from Old Collegians and friends of the College willing to share their memories of the College.

For example: Do you have a story to tell about your experience of Welcome/Orientation Week, College sport, JCR events or communal/community life?

Did you fall in love with someone at College and marry them, or establish a friendship that became a business partnership?

Were you at College during a transformative time, such as during the initial admission of women?

Do you have vivid recollections of particular students, or the Master or the Dean?

To prompt some thoughts and help record your stories, the historians have compiled a quick questionnaire, which can be completed here.

Or you can contact the historians, and send your stories, photographs (and captions), directly to this email.

Centenary events

A program of exciting events for 2025 is being planned to celebrate our Centenary! Key events in 2025 are:

Gala Centenary Weekend, 14-16 March 2025:

Friday 14 March – Welcome drinks at the Queen’s Head, 5-7.30pm

Saturday 15 March – tours of the College

Saturday 15 March  Centenary Gala Dinner – simply not to be missed!

Sunday 16 March – a long Sunday Brunch at the College, 10am-3pm

Sunday 4 May – Founders’ Day afternoon tea and Evensong

Later in 2025:

  • launch of the Centenary history written by Associate Professor Paul Sendziuk and Dr Carolyn Collins
  • the J C Bannon Oration on “St Mark’s and law, politics, and history” by our Centenary historians.

Further details of Centenary events will be announced later this year. Tickets for the Centenary Gala Dinner will go on sale in September.

All warmly welcome!

Table captains

If you would like to be a table captain for the Gala Dinner, our Director of Centenary Engagement, Karin Dunsford, would be delighted to hear from you. Email her here, or ring the College on (08) 8334 5600.


If you are travelling from the country, interstate, or overseas for the Gala Weekend and seeking accommodation, the Oval Hotel has put aside rooms especially for the St Mark’s community. The hotel is conveniently located near the Convention Centre, the venue for the Gala Dinner, and near the College. Bookings at a special discounted rate can be made here.

Milestones marked on the road to our Centenary

The 100th anniversaries of significant steps towards the creation of the College – such as its affiliation with the University of Adelaide in October 1924 – are also being marked along the way. Some of these steps are recorded on the timeline of the College’s history here.

·         In 2020, the College marked the centenary of the creation in September 1920 by the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide of a committee to consider creating a college for students of the University of Adelaide. This committee helped to shape what became St Mark’s College.

·         In December 2021, the College marked the 100th anniversary of the formal conference at St Peter’s College, chaired by Canon Julian Bickersteth, which made the decision to establish a university residential college in Adelaide.

·         On 16 March 2023, the College marked the 100th anniversary of the decision by the organising committee on 16 March 1923 to buy Downer House and adjacent land to create a college, and the finalising of the constitution for the college. The funds then needed to be raised urgently to enable the purchase of these first college properties. Thanks to the great generosity, vision, and efforts of our founders, St Mark’s College was opened by the Governor almost exactly two years later, on 15 March 1925.

Some of the visionary documents produced by the founders, and portraits of several of the College’s founders, can be found here.

Each year, the College honours its founders with a Founders’ Day service, normally on the Sunday after Anzac Day (in 2025, on Sunday 4 May).

In 2022, the College celebrated the 40th anniversary of co-education at St Mark’s, including with online profiles of many remarkable St Mark’s women. Details are here.

Keep an eye on this page for more details of the Centenary.

Centenary fundraising campaign

As well as meeting other important College needs, St Mark’s is committed to working to support all students who need it, and to promote excellence and diversity, through a major expansion of scholarships and other financial support for students.

This will be a centrepiece of a Centenary fundraising campaign.

If you would like to join in supporting scholarships for students, or to meet other College needs, click here.

Please join us in celebrating the Centenary of the College!