As part of the university’s first graduation for the year Mr Jim Varghese AM was formally inducted as the second Chancellor of Torrens University Australia and presented with the traditional Chancellor’s regalia in front of the hundreds of graduands and guests in attendance.
Outgoing and inaugural Chancellor Michael Mann AO formally inducted Jim Varghese AM in the time-honoured tradition with President and CEO Linda Brown, Robert Silberman, Executive Chairman of Strategic Education Inc, Vice-Chancellor Professor Alwyn Louw, among Torrens University Executive and academics on stage.
Mr Mann celebrated Mr Varghese and his distinguished career and many accomplishments, referring to him as a “gamechanger” in the public and private sector.
“He has tremendous flair and vision, he’s bold and creative.”
“What people might not know about Jim is how he also goes out of his way to help the poor and the underprivileged, and that’s not in his resume,” said Mr Mann.
“He’s also a role model for all of us.”
A wealth of experience at the helm
Personifying so much of Torrens University Australia’s ethos, Mr Varghese is focused on continuing to build industry’s university, advancing global expansion and ensuring the university’s relevance in the future.
“His wealth of experience means Jim will bring to the role of Chancellorship, leadership, and insights critical to the work of the university and its governing body. This will include transparency and compliance and ensure that the university’s governance continues in very good shape,” said Mr Mann.
“Jim has the passion, and it is such a pleasure for me to pass over the reins of Chancellor to him.”
Mr Varghese said it was a great honour to become Torrens University Australia’s second Chancellor and a great opportunity to bring together his extensive experience in the private, public, and not for profit sectors.
“I believe education is a fundamental human right, and I also believe that innovation is critical to ensure greater access to education,” he said.
A passion for education runs deeps in his large family of nine children, who moved to Australia in the mid-1960s with education as a core family value. He made special mention of his parents and his younger brother, Peter, who is the current Chancellor at the University of Queensland.
A lifelong commitment for connecting the world for good
Mr Varghese said he relished the opportunity to help facilitate connecting the world for good by binding and strengthening connectors between students and alumni with industry, the world of research, business corporations, and social enterprise.
“From my days as a student leader, and student senator, I have demonstrated and lived an enduring commitment to global citizenship, social justice, equality and the belief that business has a critical role to play in ensuring greater public good and upholding public interest,” he said.
“This translates as achieving the highest quality, leading with care, respect and purpose; making the world a better place; valuing cultures, investing in communities and being agents of change.”
Student happiness creates the university for the future
Mr Varghese said he was proud to be part of Torrens University, which he described as a hothouse for innovation, industry partnerships, and high-quality research.
“These strategic differentiators are right at the core, of Torrens University's centrepiece promise delivering on student happiness,” he said, pointing to the graduandsin the audience.
“We do this and set ourselves apart by focusing on designing the future, so students are empowered and equipped to define their path. We enable our graduates to forge their futures as changemakers in their lives in society, ensuring everything we do is connected to industry, especially our curriculum and our students.,” said Mr Varghese.
“Torrens University has focused truly on what matters: our values, and our vision. A vision to connect the world for good that is underpinned by a belief that student happiness should be the ultimate measure of success.”
Mr Varghese finished his address with a commitment to our students, and the next chapter of Torrens University.
“Success in our partnership with industry and graduates getting the jobs they love. Success in ensuring education without borders in everything we do. Success is truly a university for the future.”
Acknowledging an incredible legacy
Torrens University President and CEO Linda Brown reflected on the investiture referring to both Michael Mann AO and Jim Varghese AM as incredible, gifted, and extraordinary Australians.
She acknowledged the challenger mindset and championing the need for innovation and a different approach to higher education instilled by the first and founding Chancellor Michael Mann AO throughout his chancellorship which began in 2012.
“What a legacy,” said Ms Brown.
“Michael challenged us, and the Australian people, to think big, and to be willing not to follow the status quo, to always aspire for excellence. Thank you, Michael, for your leadership and vision.”
“Thank you for your mentorship, your guidance, your inspiration, your provocation and above all else for the tenacity, and the belief that Australia needed a university like this, and for not only actively holding that belief, but pursuing it through to fruition,” said Ms Brown.