Emeritus Professor Bruce Mansfield AM occupied the first History Chair in the Professoriate at Macquarie from 1965, and later served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). One of Professor Mansfield’s many contributions to the University was his co-authorship of Liberality of Opportunity, a historical account of the first 25 years of Macquarie University.
He completed his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Sydney, graduating with First Class Honours and the University Medal in his Bachelor of Arts, and First Class Honours in his Master of Arts in History. He began his academic career at Sydney and worked in Australian and Early Modern European History before becoming the first Professor of History at Macquarie in 1965. In 1986 he returned to Sydney University and became an Honorary Visiting Professor in History.
As Foundation Professor of History, Professor Mansfield was a part of one of the largest history departments in Australia during the 1970s. The School included Modern and Ancient History, Politics, and Philosophy, and was a good example of the interdisciplinary ethic of Macquarie’s early educational structures. His speciality in Early Modern Europe shaped the structure of history teaching during the early years at Macquarie.
After his retirement, Professor Mansfield returned to his study of Erasmus, the Dutch Renaissance humanist and theologian, and in 2003 he completed his three-volume history of the interpretations of Erasmus between 1550 and 2000. In addition to this, Professor Mansfield has also completed a professional and academic memoir called Summer is Almost Over.