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The following speech was delivered by the PUBLIC ORATOR in a Congregation held on Saturday, 19 May, in presenting for the Honorary Degree of Master of Arts


Virum produco qui huius modi caerimonias tamquam digitos suos novit. hic est qui nos omnes, Oratorem, Procuratores, ipsum Vice-Cancellarium, tamquam veteranus tirones admonet dirigit tuetur; cum enim quadriginta fere annos Academiae servierit, tum plus quam triginta sunt ex quo Clericorum est Princeps, summi momenti munus, quod hic ita interpretatur ut sibi labores adsiduos vindicet, ceteris tale otium relinquat quali fruuntur ei quibus contigit ut conlegae summam fidem habere possint. permulta sunt huius officia quae plerique nostrum ignoramus, alia quia latere, qua est modestia, quam iactare se mavult, alia quia in Academiae negotiis cotidie magis intricatis, cotidie minus cuiquam intellectis, nemo est qui non aliquando huius auxilium imploret, alius alia in re, nam difficultatibus quisque suis inretimur. haud raro fit ut de intricata quadam quaestione quae ad totius Universitatis salutem pertinet haereant homines amplissimi, mussent ipsi egregii Procuratores: ad hunc itur, qui formularum ambages et sesquipedalia verba ut nemo alius explicet. nos humiliores tunc plerumque huius opem invocamus, cum de examinationibus deque discipulo aliquo ambigitur; nam in hoc saltem haec Academia Socrati illi adsentitur, vitam sine examinationibus esse homine indignam. hic est qui libri ingentis arcana evolvit, tenebras inluminat, terrores dissipat; qua in re ipse animum gratissimum velim significare cum totiens ab hoc sim adiutus ac gubernatus. videbar mihi semel hunc in re minima correxisse; sed adeo veri simile non est ut ultro me somniavisse concedam. sed quod vel maximum est: ita diligentiam summam, ita responsa accuratissima praestat vir comitate insignis ut nihil morositatis, nihil adrogantiae praebeat.

Praesento virum qui praesentatione minime indiget, Academiae ministrum fidelissimum, academicorum amicum dilectissimum, Philippum Moss, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Magistri in Artibus.


The man whom I now present knows these ceremonies like the back of his hand. All of us—the Orator, the Proctors, even the Vice-Chancellor himself—are guided and directed by Mr Philip Moss, the veteran soldier to whom we are all raw recruits. He has served the University for some forty years, and for thirty-two he has been Head Clerk. His conception of that vital office has been to work with devotion, so that the rest of us can enjoy the ease of mind that comes to those who can rely on a colleague implicitly. A great part of his activities remains out of sight to most of us, both because of the modesty with which he prefers to avoid the limelight, and also because, as the workings of the University become ever more complicated and ever harder to understand, almost all of us, sooner or later, become entangled in some particular problem and have to call on him for help. It may be that some general point, involving the general health of the whole institution, is perplexing the high functionaries; the Proctors themselves are scratching their heads: then it has been to Mr Moss that they have had recourse, with his unequalled expertise in the complexities and the jargon of the regulations and the decrees. Less grand members of the University have invoked his aid, usually, in connection with some problem about examinations and a particular pupil—the University agrees with Socrates on this point at least, that an unexamined life is not worth living. He it has been who expounds the mysteries of that bulky volume, the Examination Decrees, who brings light into its opacity, and who chases away its terrors. I take the opportunity to express my own thanks for all the times he has given me wise and salutary counsel. I did once fancy that I had corrected him on a small point of detail; but it is so hard to believe that I am convinced that it must have been a dream. Above all, he combines great accuracy and great readiness of response with a complete absence of bureaucratic stuffiness, and he is as agreeable to deal with as he is precise.

I present a man who needs no introduction, a devoted servant of the University, a friend for whom its academic members feel great affection, Philip Moss, for admission to the honorary degree of Master of Arts.

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On the recommendation of the Medical Sciences Board, Council has assigned the Department of Clinical Pharmacology to D.J. KERR, B.SC., M.SC., PH.D., MD, D.SC., Fellow of Corpus Christi and Rhodes Professor of Therapeutic Sciences and Clinical Pharmacology, for a period of one year from 1 October 2001.

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The Bursary has been awarded to ALICE JONES, St John's College.

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The Prize has been awarded to MICHAEL FLEMING, Pembroke College.

Proxime accessit: ROSALIND PORTER, Christ Church.

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Prizes have been awarded to the following: MARY HARRINGTON, Lincoln College

MAIREAD KELLY, St Anne's College

AVYE LEVENTIS, Lincoln College

LAURA SMITH, Lady Margaret Hall

DANIEL TYLER, Pembroke College

JAMES WILTON, Lady Margaret Hall

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The prize has not been awarded.

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Sheldonian Theatre

On the occasion of the Encaenia to be held in the Sheldonian Theatre on Wednesday, 20 June, the Curators of the Theatre propose to allot seats as follows to those who make application (subject to availability):

(a) One Visitor's ticket each to Heads of Houses, Canons of Christ Church, members of the Council of the University, and certain other persons holding official positions in the University;

(b) One Visitor's Ticket to each Professor;

(c) One ticket to holders of the Degrees of Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Science, Letters, Philosophy, and Studies, Magister Juris, and Bachelor of Divinity, Civil Law, Medicine, Music, Letters, Science, and Philosophy.

Applications for tickets in the above categories must be made not later than Monday, 11 June, to:

The Head Clerk
University Offices
Wellington Square
Oxford OX1 2JD

Tickets for holders of the Degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Fine Art, and Theology, Master of Biochemistry, Chemistry, Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics, and for visitors and members of the University who have not been admitted to any degree will be distributed through college authorities, and all applications for them should be made to the college authorities and not to the Head Clerk.

The gates and entrances to the Theatre will be opened at 10.45 a.m. and the proceedings will begin at 11.30 a.m. Holders of tickets are requested to be in their places inside the Theatre by 11.15 a.m. Instructions as to entrances are printed on the tickets.

All members of the University are required to wear sub-fusc and full academic dress. Doctors will wear their robes and other graduates their hoods.

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The Board of Management of the Beit Fund wishes to announce that it is holding a second competition in 2000--1 for the award of the Robert Herbert Memorial Prize and the Beit Prize.

Robert Herbert Memorial Prize

The prize will be offered for an essay or a short dissertation `on some subject connected with those problems of Imperial Administration to which Sir Robert Herbert devoted his life'. In practice, the prize trustees define this as topics in the field of British Imperial and Commonwealth history, or in imperial aspects of British history.The value of the prize is at least £300.

Beit Prize

The prize will be offered for an essay on some subject connected with the advantages of `Imperial Citizenship', or on some subject connected with Colonial History. In practice, the prize trustees define this as topics in the field of British Imperial and Commonwealth history, or in imperial aspects of British history.The value of the prize is at least £250.

Entry procedures for both prizes:

The prizes are open to all members of the University who on the closing date for entries have not exceeded twelve years from their matriculation, and who have not previously been awarded either prize. Entries must be (i) word-processed and self-contained pieces of scholarly work (ii) no longer than 15,000 words (including footnotes, appendices, and bibliographies) but may be shorter (iii) written by the applicant only i.e. not joint authorship. The prize trustees wish to encourage the entry of work adapted from a wide variety of sources: published and unpublished articles, theses for relevant Honours Schools, theses for the examination for the Master of Studies in Modern History or the Master of Studies in Historical Research, and work presented in applications for change of status to D.Phil. student or for confirmation of D.Phil. student status.

Entries for both prizes must not be marked with the author's name. The author's name, college and date of matriculation should be supplied in a separate letter with the essay to the Secretary to the Beit Fund Board of Management, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 4JD (telephone: (2)80299), by the closing date of 30 October.

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The deadline for submitting a topic for approval by the Committee for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology has been extended to Friday, 8 June. The submission date for the essays is unchanged: Monday, 22 October.

Further information may be obtained from the Administrator's Assistant, Modern History Faculty, Broad Street.

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Careers Advice Service for Contract Research Staff

This initiative, provided by the University Careers Service at 56 Banbury Road (in addition to services provided to students), aims to encourage and enable academic-related research staff, who are employed directly by the University on fixed term contracts (contract research staff), to make and implement well informed decisions about their careers by:

—providing impartial, professional, careers advice;

—supporting them in recognising and developing the attributes necessary for successful career development;

—enabling them to appreciate and explore the range of opportunities available;

—assisting them to clarify their values, interests, abilities and skills and to relate these to possible career options;

—providing access to a wide variety of careers information and resources to facilitate the formulation and implementation of career plans.

The service operates flexibly in an attempt to cater for personal needs, whether individuals are generally uncertain about the career options open to them, considering reviewing or changing their career direction, or thinking about finding a new job in academia, commerce, industry, the public sector, or setting up their own business, etc.

Following registration, members of contract research staff will have access to up to four, confidential, one-to-one meetings with a careers adviser to help clarify personal and career objectives and to identify the main career options open to them. They may also drop-in to see the Duty Adviser at the Careers Service to help resolve brief queries and make use of the wide range of careers information resources held at the Careers Service, including a computerised careers guidance system. Psychometric ability testing and personality profiling for career development purposes (with feedback) can also be arranged, on an ad hoc basis, where sufficient demand exists. In addition, three career development workshops (Career Review and Planning, Job Search Skills, and Effective Interview Preparation), all designed specifically for contract research staff who are looking to review their career options, or to find alternative work, are run at various times throughout the year. To book a place on any of these workshops contact the Institute for the Advancement of University Learning (telephone: (2)86808, e-mail:

Further details of the service are available from John Kirwan, the careers adviser for contract research staff (telephone: (2)74736, e-mail:, Web site:

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Bodleian Library

An Amusement: a recital of music by Johann Nepomuk Hummel transcribed from manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, by Triangulus—Madeleine Mitchell (violin), Alison Moncrieff Kelly (cello), and Lyn Garland (piano).

The recital will be given on Monday, 2 July. There will be a reception (wine and smoked salmon sandwiches) at 6 p.m. in the Divinity School, the Old Schools Quadrangle, followed by the recital, at 7.15 p.m. in the chapel, Exeter College.

Tickets, costing £25, are obtainable only by post from Mrs P. Sturgis, Bodleian Library, Oxford OX1 3BG (telephone: Oxford (2)77234, e-mail:

Magdalen College

Organ recitals

The following organ recitals will be given at 5.25 p.m. on Saturdays in Magdalen College. Admission is free.

26 May: Arthur Wills, OBE (formerly Organist of Ely Cathedral).

2 June: Francis Jackson, OBE (Organist Emeritus, York Minster).

9 June: Steven Grahl (Organ Scholar, Magdalen College).

16 June: David Goode (Assistant Organist, Christ Church Cathedral).

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Closure of the Lower Reading Room

Saturday, 2 June–Sunday, 7 October inclusive

The Lower Reading Room of the Old Bodleian Library will be closed from Saturday, 2 June, to Sunday, 7 October inclusive for continuing renovation work on the building being undertaken as part of the Bodleian Old Library Development Project.

The Upper Reading Room, Duke Humfrey's Library, the Radcliffe Camera and New Library reading rooms will be open.

Alternative arrangements:

—a temporary Main Enquiry Desk will be set up at the north-west corner of the Upper Reading Room. Order slips may be submitted here for all reading rooms

—a temporary Lower Reserve will be set up outside the PPE Reading Room in the New Library and readers will consult reserved items in the PPE Reading Room. A normal Bookstack service will operate from this Reserve for all materials normally consulted in the Lower Reading Room

—major theological reference works from Lower will be shelved during closure in the Lower Camera or outside the PPE reading room. Major classical reference works will be shelved at the west end of the PPE Reading Room

—open shelf material in the Lower Reading Room will be transferred to the Bookstack for the duration of the closure. It will not be available during transfer in the periods 2–17 June and 23 September–7 October

There will be a limit of six volumes on reserve per reader in Reader Services reading rooms while Lower is closed.

The Library regrets the inconvenience caused by this essential work.

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