OUTGOING University of Newcastle vice-chancellor Caroline McMillen may be headed for South Australia, but she will be taking a key part of Newcastle with her.
Professor McMillen received a key to the city at a City Hall breakfast on Friday in honour of her work over the past seven years.
Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes’ presentation comes the same day as Professor McMillen departs to become South Australia’s chief scientist.
"It's an honour to the present the Key to the City to Professor McMillen in recognition of her services to Newcastle," Cr Nelmes said.
"Caroline has been instrumental in Newcastle's growing status as a smart, liveable and sustainable global city and has been a formidable ally in our quest to transform Newcastle into a magnet city.
"She has overseen the expansion of the university into the Newcastle CBD and helped the university gain a rank in the top one per cent of global universities in a prestigious global survey.
"As she departs, I extend to her a profound vote of thanks on behalf of the people of Newcastle and say to her that I will personally miss her wonderful company and counsel."
The ambassador program, of which the keys to the city are part, has previously honoured Jackie Gillies and Newcastle-based Youth With a Mission ship the Ruach.
Professor McMillen joined the university in 2011 as vice-chancellor and president. Her final day at the university was last month.