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John McKellar Stewart (1878–1953)

John Stewart, 1949

John Stewart, 1949

photo supplied by Robert Childs

Professor John McKellar Stewart, former Vice Chancellor and Professor of Philosophy of the University of Adelaide, died on Saturday at the age of 74, after a short illness.

Professor Stewart, who was awarded the CMG in 1949 for his work in philosophy and education in SA, was a member of the University Council from 1926. He became Vice-Chancellor in 1945 after serving as deputy Vice-Chancellor from 1941 to 1943.

Graduating with first-class honors in philosophy at Melbourne in 1906, Professor Stewart completed his studies at Edinburgh and Marburg (Germany) before becoming Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne.

In 1922 he accepted the chair of philosophy at the University of Adelaide.

He retired as Vice-Chancellor in 1948, but continued to occupy the chair of philosophy until his retirement in 1950, when the University Council made him Professor Emeritus.

A member of the State Advisory Council for Education and the Government Commission which enquired into education in SA in 1933, Professor Stewart visited America and England in 1935 to investigate education in those countries.

He was widely known for his connection with education in this State from the kindergarten stages to adult education, and took a keen interest in the activities of his students.

He was chairman of the Students' Union when the body was formed in 1926.

At his death he was still chairman of the Scotch College Council of Governors, having occupied that position since 1926, and his resignation as president of the Kindergarten Union of SA after 29 years was announced only last week.

He was chairman of the University Public Examinations Board for many years, and also chairman of the University joint committee for tutorial classes.

He leaves three sons, Drs. J. S. McKellar Stewart, who is serving as medical officer for the Immigration Department in Italy, and A. K. McKellar Stewart (Casino, NSW) and Mr. Neil McKellar Stewart (Blackwood), and a daughter, Mrs. M. M. S. Finnis (Medindie).

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Citation details

'Stewart, John McKellar (1878–1953)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

John Stewart, 1949

John Stewart, 1949

photo supplied by Robert Childs

Life Summary [details]


4 May, 1878
Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia


25 April, 1953 (aged 74)
North Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

pulmonary embolism

Cultural Heritage

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