Trinity College was saddened to learn of the death of Emeritus Professor AGL Shaw on Thursday 5 April 2012.
A memorial service will be held in the Chapel of Trinity College at 11am on Thursday 3 May 2012. All are welcome to attend.
Alan entered Trinity as a resident student in 1935, and subsequently graduated BA from the University of Melbourne in 1938. That year he was a tutor at the College, before going to Christ Church, Oxford, to undertake further study. In 1941 he was appointed to the teaching staff of the University of Melbourne and was again a tutor at Trinity, serving as President of the Senior Common Room, and becoming joint Acting Dean in 1944 and Dean in 1947. Throughout this time he was Vice-President of the Dialectic Society. In 1951 on returning to Australia from a Nuffield Dominion Travelling Fellowship, he resigned as Dean in order to become Lecturer in History at the University of Sydney.
In 1957 Alan married the artist Peggy Ray Perrins (1917–2009). They returned to Melbourne in 1964 when Alan took up the position of Professor of Modern History at Monash University, a position he held until his retirement in 1981. He renewed his association with Trinity College as a member of Council (1968–78 and 1984–2005), and served on the Fellowship Committee from 1989. He was President of the Union of the Fleur-de-Lys (1975), and served for many years as a member of the Foundation Studies Academic Committee (retiring in 2003), and Chairman of the Art Committee from its inception in 1987. Upon his retirement from the Committee in 2006, he was elected Emeritus Chairman, and the minutes noted: 'Professor AGL Shaw has served the Trinity College Art Committee with great distinction and, through his Chairmanship, has seen the establishment and recognition of the Trinity College Art Collection as a rich addition to the College's heritage. His friendly personality, his keen sense of participation and his perceptive intelligence will be sadly missed'. His likeness is one of six bronze busts by Peter Corlett on the roof of Trinity College’s Evan Burge Library. After a lifetime of generous donations to Trinity for the Library, the Choir, the organ fund, Indigenous scholarships and the grounds, Alan recently established the Alan and Peggy Shaw Scholarship for a student to study at Oxford University.
He was a member of the Council of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria (1965–71) and President (1987–91), inaugural President of the Australian Historical Association (1973–74), President of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia (1978–81), a member of the Library Council of Victoria (1976–85), Chairman of the Public Records Advisory Council of Victoria (1979–86), and President of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria (1987–91). He was a benefactor to Melbourne Opera, and a major supporter and benefactor of the National Gallery of Victoria, creating the Shaw Research Library, now home to over 50,000 volumes.
Alan was elected as a Fellow of both the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia in 1967, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of Victoria in 1973, and as the first Fellow of the Federation of Australian Historical Societies in 1998. He helped found the Friends of the LaTrobe Library (State Library of Victoria), and was President of the CJ La Trobe Society (2002–04). In the 1982 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Alan was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for services to education.
In 2009, Professor Shaw gifted his portrait, painted by noted Australian artist John Olsen in 1962, to the College's Art Collection (image left).
Our thoughts are with his family at this time.