Dr William From (Class of 1973) was the son of Ipswich Grammar School’s Oldest living Old Boy, Fred From AO (Class of 1935) who turned 101. William was also affectionately called Fred while at school.
Dr From graduated with first-class honours in physics from the University of Queensland and was awarded a PhD in September 1984. The very next month, William was a member of a six-person Australian and New Zealander team hoping to reach the summit of Mt Everest – a feat no Australian had yet to achieve. Already an experienced climber, William had climbed to over 8000m on Lhotse and also the high point on Makalu.
On his twenty-eighth birthday, the team was on the western ridge of Everest within sight of the summit. It was then that William’s fellow climber Craig Nottle lost his footing and fell to his death. Tragedy would follow when William soon followed him after an attempt to locate his friend.
In 1985 William was posthumously awarded the JP Thompson Medal by the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia for his outstanding achievements in the field of geography.