R.I.P. Alan Bond – Sporting Hero & Creator Bond University
Alan passed away today in hospital in his adopted home of Perth after complications following heart surgery.
Our University carries Alan’s name and together with Harunori Takahashi he is acknowledged as one of the founders of our great institution. Alan had a vision to create Australia’s first private non-profit university. Almost three decades ago, Alan saw the swamp land on which the campus now stands and envisaged “an international university of the highest standard to serve Australia and its neighbours” (quote from Alan Bond in 1987). Alan then applied energy and drive to create the first university on the Gold Coast.
With no financial support from either the State or Commonwealth Governments, Alan was determined to build a world-class educational institution. Alan did not possess the benefit of a university education himself but believed passionately in the advantages and opportunities that a university degree can provide.
Soon after our opening, Bond University fell on challenging times. While Alan has had a chequered past and acknowledged that he was not proud of some of his actions, he remained a staunch supporter of Bond University.
We have both survived and thrived since those early days. Our entrepreneurial spirit and fierce determination to be different owes much to Alan’s legacy.
The University has never condoned Alan’s business dealings. Rather we have accepted that Alan had another side and we are grateful for his vision, passion and determination that led to the establishment of Bond University.
Alan had not been involved with the University for over 20 years. Given Alan’s special place in our history he was invited to attend last year’s 25th anniversary celebrations as an official guest. He was warmly welcomed. This gesture provided closure for both Alan and the University.
To Alan’s credit, he was conscious to avoid the limelight over his visit to campus and he expressed delight at simply being invited back. During the visit Alan confided that his proudest legacy was indeed Bond University.