The University of Newcastle, Australia

A generosity of spirit that lives on

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Known for his generosity of spirit during his lifetime, Dr Alan Hewson (1927 – 2017) was a great friend to the Newcastle community, the medical profession and to the University of Newcastle. Generous to the end, Dr Hewson’s legacy will live on at UON thanks to the gifts left in his will.

As an esteemed obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Hewson was known for his surgical skill and his easy rapport with patients. He was also widely revered as an outstanding clinical teacher – a leader in his field who shared his knowledge and insights with students and peers over the course of his life. His book “Tragedy, Trials and Triumphs: Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Australia in the Twentieth Century” was published the year he died.

“There are generations of doctors across Newcastle and Australia who have had the good fortune to learn from Dr Hewson” Professor Brian Kelly, Head of School of Medicine and Public Health said.

“Similarly, there are many thousands of patients who remember him for the outstanding and very human medical care he provided. He was the kind of person who made a lasting impression” Professor Kelly said.

In his will, Dr Hewson bequeathed his personal and extensive book collection to the University, along with a gift of $50,000 ‘to be used or applied for the general purposes of continuing medical education of medical practitioners in the Hunter regions of New South Wales.

“We are honoured to receive these gifts from Dr Hewson,” Professor John Aitken, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Health and Medicine said.

“He was generous in life and in his death. His memory will live on in the countless students he has helped and will continue to help over many years” he said.

40 years of medicineDr Hewson’s books have been gratefully received by the Auchmuty Rare Book Collection and the Friends of the University of Newcastle. Over the past 33 years, the Friends have raised funds through their biennial Book Fair and have funded a number of projects that contribute to the University.

Dr Hewson’s support for the University dates back forty years, when he was one of the local founders of our Medical School. His commitment to continuing medical education was reflected in his long standing contribution to the Hunter Postgraduate Medical Institute, and the senior positions he held within the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

UON has been fortunate to have received philanthropic support from the community for more than 50 years. This support is received in many ways and helps provide scholarships for our students, funds vital research and enables community programs.

“Leaving a gift in their will has been a way that many of our wonderful community members have chosen to support the work of our University,” Rebecca Hazell, Director of the Office of Alumni and Philanthropy said.

“We are most grateful for all of the generous philanthropic support we receive as it really does help to change lives,” Rebecca said.

If you wish to learn more about leaving a gift in your will to the University of Newcastle, please contact Maria Pavela, Development Manager (Bequests) on 4985 4163.

* Image of Dr Hewson is courtesy of the Newcastle Herald.

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