Emeritus Professor John Hay AC was an outstanding Vice-Chancellor for UQ, and we join the rest of the UQ community in mourning his passing. Those of us who conduct research in the humanities have particular reasons for acknowledging the great benefits his vision and leadership brought to these disciplines at UQ. During his time, Emeritus Professor Hay established two small, focused, research centres in the humanities and located them in what is still a very rare institutional space in Australia —a purpose-built humanities research precinct in the Forgan Smith Tower. The Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies and the Centre for the History of European Discourses proved highly successful initiatives. They went on to attract high quality postdoctoral researchers, many national research grants, postgraduate students and international collaborations, driving a major period of research development in the former Faculty of Arts. Their founding directors, Emeritus Professor Peter Cryle and Emeritus Professor Graeme Turner, are professorial fellows in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, and wish to record their deep appreciation for John Hay’s personal support and their great regret that he is no longer with us.