Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Francis Ormond, pastoralist and philanthropist, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1829, the son of a sea captain. In 1842, the family emigrated to Port Phillip, Australia. His father opened an inn at Shelford, near Geelong. During this time, Francis worked as a stable boy, and later kept the books at his father's inn.
Ormond's father subsequently procured 30,000 acres (120 km²) of pastoral land west of Ballarat around 1848, and at nineteen, Francis became manager of the run. In 1854, Francis bought out his father's interest, and it was this landholding, combined with his excellence as a breeder of sheep and business acumen that provided the basis for his wealth.
In the 1880s, Ormond initiated the concept of the Working Men's College in Melbourne, now RMIT, and provided a large share of its initial funding. He also gave the lion's share of the funding for Ormond College at the University of Melbourne. Ormond also greatly enjoyed music, and amongst his other benefactions, the Ormond Professorship of Music at the University of Melbourne is one of the most significant. Ormond took great interest, during his lengthy sojourns in Europe, in visiting educational institutions there and examining their methods, in order to see if they provided a model for his institutions back home.
Ormond married twice, had no children, but adopted two girls and a boy. He died in Pau, France, in 1889, at the age of 59.
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