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Two Lady Bachelors of Art.
COMMEMORATION DAY at the University of Sydney is always regarded as amongst the most important social events of the year. The gathering held on the 2nd May proved no exception to the rule, except in so far
that it was the most brilliant of a long series of splended ceremonials in connection with the principal seat of learning in New South Wales. The University of Sydney was founded in 1851, and although it is but a very young infant in comparison to the ancient estab- lishments of Cambridge and Oxford, whose foundation is almost lost in the dim vista of centuries of history, it is the oldest amongst the Universities of Australia. It has already a long roll of graduates, and has numbered in the past as in the present some of the brightest intellects to be found in this bright new land of ours amongst its alumni. As we have already said, the Commemoration of the 2nd May was the most brilliant that has yet been witnessed. The magnificent hall was filled by an immense assemblage of the wealth, beauty, fashion, and culture of the community. It was in all respects a remarkable event, and not the least so that it was the first time in the annals of the University that ladies were admitted as graduates. Two young ladies having successfully passed all the prescribed examina- tions were formally admitted as graduates, and invested with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. We are enabled to give portraits of these two brave ladies, who have nobly shown that their sex are as capable of profiting
by high-class teaching and aquiring the highest culture and learning as their compeers of the sterner sex.
Miss Isola Florence Thompson is the daughter of the late Mr. Joseph Thompson, head master of the Marrick- ville Public School. She was born at Newcastle, and received her early education at the Public School at that town, and subsequently at Albury, her father hav- ing been successively master of both establishments. In due course she passed the entrance examination for teacher under the Department of Public Instruction, also the junior public examination. After leaving school she pursued her studies under the direction of her father at home. On the return of Mr. Thompson to Sydney, Miss Thompson placed herself under the educational guidance of Mr. C. A. Flint, M.A., under whom she studied for a time. She entered at the Matriculation Examination in 1882, to which ladies were for the first time admitted, and passed successfully. She subsequently passed the first and second years' examination in 1883 and 1884, and finally took her degree in March, 1885. In the final examination she stood fourth on the list in Latin and French ; in Classics, first in the pass list ; in Mathematics, seventh in class II. Miss Thompson now holds an important position in connection with the girls' department of the Sydney High School. The portrait is engraved from a photograph from the studio of Messrs. Tuttle & Co.
Miss M. E. Brown, B. A., was one of those who sic- cessfully went through the Arts course at the University and obtained the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Our por- trait, which is said to be an excellent likeness, is from the studio of Mr. Herbert Newman, of Oxford Street Miss Mary Elizabeth Brown was born in Samoa. He father, the Rev. George Brown, a Wesleyan clergyman, now resident in Sydney, was for some years a missionary at Samoa and others of the islands in the South Pacific. In due course Miss Brown became a pupil of the Girls' High School at Auckland, being, in fact, one of the first pupils of that establishment. It must necessarily be gratifying to the conductors of the School to learn that one of their first pupils has taken such a high and honourable place as a University degree necessarily confers in the charmed circle of learning and culture. When the family returned to Sydney after a considerable sojourn amid the palmy islands of the Pacific, Miss Brown entered as a pupil at Miss Baxter's School, in Albion Street, Surry Hills. When the University was for the first time, thrown open to ladies, she commenced her preparation for the first course. She successfully passed the matriculation examination, and continued to pursue her studies until, having gone through the Arts course, she successfully passed the necessary examina- tion as Bachelor of Arts degree, with which she was invested at the hands of the Chancellor at the late Commemoration. In the Classics Miss Brown was placed fifth in the Honor list, being second in Class II In Mathematics she was fifth, securing fourth place in the Pass list. Miss Brown has accepted an important position in the Girls' Grammar School, Brisbane.