Statues of Bond University’s two visionary founders – Mr Alan Bond and Mr Harunori Takahashi - were unveiled today to recognise and celebrate their contribution to the establishment of the University, ahead of the institution’s 27th Anniversary later this month.
The life-size bronze sculptures were officially commemorated by the families of Mr Bond and Mr Takahashi, with Mr Bond’s children - John Bond, Craig Bond and Jody Fewster - travelling from Perth and Mr Takahashi’s children - Ichiro Takahashi and Makiko Komai - and his widow, Aki Takahashi flying in from Tokyo for the event.
Bond University’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Tim Brailsford said it was important and timely to recognise the contribution made by the two founders.
“We are here today to pay tribute to the founding fathers of Bond University for their shared vision and entrepreneurial ethos,” Professor Brailsford said.
“Without the commitment and support of both of these men to the establishment of this University back in the 1980s, it simply would not exist.
“Their dream of creating Australia’s first private, not-for-profit university became a reality in May 1987.
“27 years, and almost 25,000 graduates later, Bond has established itself as a unique, independent presence on Australia’s higher education landscape.
“Their innovative spirit and determination to challenge, be different and continually strive for excellence is deeply entrenched in our culture, and it is important that the two founders have a permanent place on campus.
“Sadly, Mr Bond and Mr Takahashi are no longer with us, but we are delighted and honoured to have their families here today on campus to mark this auspicious occasion and preside over the official unveiling of Founders’ Corner.
“Founders’ Corner is located at the crossroads of the University near the lake in the campus’ main thoroughfare,” Professor Brailsford said.
“Founders’ Corner will become a new focal point of Bond; a meeting place for newcomers to the University and no doubt a popular photo opportunity on Graduation Days,” he said.
"The statues of Alan and Harunori are depicted welcoming students, staff, alumni and guests to the campus and face the direct centre of Bond’s iconic Arch.”
The Arch was designed by distinguished Japanese architect Arata Isozaki at the request of Mr Takahashi. It is based on Constantine’s Triumphal Arch in Rome which was built in 315 AD between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill.
Bond University was established and its development funded via a joint venture between Bond Corporation in Australia, of which Mr Bond was Chairman, and Electronics and Industrial Enterprises (EIE) of Japan, of which Mr Takahashi was President.
The life-size sculptures were created by Ballina bronze artist and sculptor, Mr David Mackay Harrison. He based the sculptures on photographs of the two men taken at the time of Bond’s founding in 1987.
In addition to the bronze statues, Founders’ Corner also features a commemorative plaque which features quotes from Alan Bond and Harunori Takahashi, on the opening of Bond University in May 1987.
Alan Bond, 1987:
“The establishment of Bond University will herald innovation. It will be a practical University. Bond University will set new standards in excellence for other institutions to copy and follow.
“It will be bold and pioneering, resourceful and determined. Its graduates will have demonstrated they are hard workers and will be in demand around the world.
“Bond University will always look and plan for the future – a future where Australia is a partner in business ventures and joint developments throughout the global village.
“Bond University is now in place. Vision has become reality. The way is now – ahead.”
Harunori Takahashi, 1987:
“We are able to join with Australia in the project of Bond University with the highest aspirations and motivation to set new standards of achievement.
“Bond University will offer education in a specialised way to Australia and to other countries, enabling its students to take their place in a world of rapid technological change and equip them to Take advantage of technology to reach out and achieve new goals and new horizons.
“We are honoured to be a partner in a venture which marks an historic new milestone in Japanese-Australian friendship and co-operation.”