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The following speeches were delivered by THE PUBLIC ORATOR in a Congregation held on Thursday, 3 July, in presenting for the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Civil Law


President Emeritus, New York University

Hodie colossorum pompam Rhodiorum salutamus. primus procedit vir qui cum pecuniam paene incredibilem collegisset qua Academiam suam ditaret, nos Oxonienses pudibundos adhuc ne dicam haesitabundos verbis saluberrimis hortatus est ut nos quoque ab alumnis nostris nummos eliceremus: Primo loco, inquit, consentaneum esto rem publicam sine Oxonia stare non posse; tum hoc dico, quod auribus tenerioribus displiciturum esse bene novi: verbis conceptis flagitandum est quod desideratis. et quidem, ut miremur, ipse olim questus est hanc Academiam a se triginta fere annis pecuniam numquam flagitavisse. primum inter Harvardenses, mox inter Oxonienses educatus ad res Hispanicas se contulit, dissertationem conscripsit, Doctor evasit; sed mox hac umbratili vita hisque studiis pro tempore saltem relictis ad curriculi publici munera se convertit, comitiis se adsuefecit, celerius paene quam dici potest candidatus proclamatus, a civibus suis electus, in Curiam progressus est, in qua viginti duo annos continuos iterum atque iterum favorem publicum expertus multas leges ferendas curabat quibus academiae bibliothecae humanitatis studia foverentur; neque civibus imbecillioribus defuit, qui aerari opes pauperrimo cuique subvenire iusserit. deinde Curia relicta ad homines doctos platanique umbram regressus Academiae praeclarae praesidere coepit, quam tamen cum pauperiorem aliquantulo esse iudicaret quam pro huius saeculi necessitate, opes permagnas ideo undique colligere instituit ut tam splendida Universitas famae suae, studentium spei dignis modis respondere posset, qua in re se potentissimum praestitit: felix qui tam splendidam [euergresias] venam in civibus suis experiretur. originis Graecae suae haud immemor scholam condidit quae in ea Europae parte concordiam civitatemque promoveret vere popularem; nuper autem, ut cum Horatio dicam, Nox erat et caelo fulgebat Luna sereno[1] , cum hic in monte in quo olim contiones congregabantur verba fecit his de rebus eloquentissima.

Praesento virum varium alacrem impigrum, academicorum potentissimum, res agentium doctissimum, Iohannem Brademas, Doctorem in Philosophia, Collegi Aenei Nasi socium honoris causa creatum, gradibus plurimis ornatum, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Iure Civili.


Today we welcome a procession of the colossi of Cecil Rhodes. The first to come forward is a man who has collected enormous sums of money for his University. We at Oxford have traditionally been a little awkward, perhaps a little bashful, about asking people for money; Dr Brademas did us a great service by urging us to start a campaign among our alumni for contributions. First, he explained, we must establish that Oxford is indispensable to the future of the nation; secondly, even if some sensitive ears do not care to hear it, we must actually ask people for the money we need. He is on record as complaining that in thirty years he was never asked for a contribution by Oxford; by no means a common complaint. Educated first at Harvard and then at Oxford, he applied himself to Hispanic studies and was awarded a Doctorate in Philosophy. But soon he turned away, for a time, from the groves of Academe and embarked on a political career. He stood for Congress, and in less time almost than it takes to tell was elected---he enjoyed continuous success at the polls for more than twenty years---and sponsored laws which gave important support to colleges, libraries, and cultural activities. He also promoted legislation to help the weak by Federal subventions for those in need. Then Dr Brademas came back to the world of Universities, becoming President of a one of the greatest. He felt that it had insufficient endowment for its purposes in the modern world, and he set about raising the very large sums of money which such an institution needed, if it was to live up to its reputation and the expectations of its students; and he did so with signal success. Fortunate the man who can tap so rich a vein of generosity in his fellow citizens Mindful of his Greek ancestry, he is a founder of the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in South East Europe, subjects on which he delivered a memorable speech on the Pnyx, the hill in Athens on which the ancient democracy held its meetings, while (in the phrase of Horace) The night it was, and brightly shone the moon.

I present a man of varied talents and extraordinary energy, the most practical of academics, the most scholarly of men of action, Dr John Brademas, Honorary Fellow of Brasenose, recipient of many honorary degrees, for admission to the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

[1] Horace, Epode xv. 1.
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Prime Minister of Australia, 1983--91

Virum produco qui cum summos apud suos magistratus gesserit omnes vitae suae vices tam aperte patefecit, vitae autem publicae postscenia tam candida fide exposuit, cautela enim ista non cohibetur qua obstricti viri primarii dum conscribunt commentarios suos totiens

spargunt umida mella soporiferumque papaver [2],
ut lector laetus attendat, virum ipsum ante oculos habere videatur. quod hic adulescens Oxoniae studiis incubuit, Caecilii Rhodes beneficio referimus acceptum; sed nolite credere omnium horarum hominem libris tantum studiisque severioribus vacavisse, qui se memoret sponsione provocatum lagenam ampliorem cervisiae plenam breviori temporis spatio quam quivis alius exhausisse. sed impiger erat, sed in seriis se gravem strenuumque praestabat, cui prudentiores etiam tum vaticinabantur clarum vitae publicae cursum. audite enim ipsius verba: In bibliotheca Rhodesiana, inquit, latebras meas posui, quibus a matutino tempore usque ad clausuram vespertinam delitescebam; in qua quidem se sedentem memorat primo mentem ad eas quaestiones contulisse quae ad operariorum collegia spectant. in patriam suam reversus mox in re publica coepit excellere, causam popularem tuebatur, operariorum signifer exstabat, mox consilia regebat: senatui adscriptus intra tempus brevissimum et partium et senatus principatum consecutus rem publicam procellis externis vexatam, aerarium fere exhaustum et aere alieno vehementer pressum, ita rationibus prudentibus, remediis asperis sed isdem saluberrimis adiuvabat, ut officinae fabricae tabernae argentariae protegi defendique desisterent, mercatores sui privilegiis sublatis cum peregrinis certamine quodam haud iniquo certarent. cum imperio Sinensi foedera amicitiaeque fundamenta iecit, a bello nefando quod eo tempore in Indo-China grassabatur milites suos prudentissime retinebat. domi concordiam civilem promovebat cum aequitate coniunctam; aborigines autem, gentem hominum nimis saepe oppressam, ad res secundas dignitatemque revocabat.

Praesento virum honoratissimum et eundem vere humanum Robertum Hawke, Australiae Comitem et olim Primum Ministrum, Baccalaureum in Litteris, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Iure Civili.


The man whom I now bring forward has held the very highest positions in his own country, and has written his memoirs (The Hawke Years), treating both public and private life with a frankness refreshingly unrestrained by the discretion shown in the memoirs of so many statesmen, which, to borrow a line from Virgil, `sprinkles them with liquid honey and the soporific poppy'. The reader reads on with alacrity, feeling that he is in contact with the man himself. He studied here in Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, but he did not restrict himself exclusively to the weightier areas of endeavour: he records that on a challenge he once drank off a sconce pot of beer in unbeaten record time. But he applied himself to academic matters and worked hard too, and acute observers were already predicting a distinguished political career for him. He tells us that `The library at Rhodes House became my den from early in the morning until its close in the late afternoon'. It was while sitting there that he decided on a career in trade union work. He went home to Australia, took the popular side in politics, and became active in trade union affairs. Soon he was an influential union leader; entering Parliament, he was very soon the head of his party and of the government. He had to handle a period of turbulence in foreign policy and of financial crisis at home. He introduced policies of great wisdom, to deal with the problem of national debt; his remedies, while severe, proved wholesome, dismantling protectionism and exposing all kinds of business to the realities of external competition on fair terms. He signed treaties and established good relations with the Republic of China; he kept his country's forces out of the disastrous war in Indo-China; he worked for civic harmony at home, coupled with social justice; and he re-established for the Aborigines, so often disadvantaged, prosperity and dignity.

I present the Hon. Robert Hawke, AC, B.Litt., a man of true humanity, formerly Prime Minister of Australia, for admission to the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

[2] Virgil, Aeneid iv.486.
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Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies

Oratorum omnium facile princeps M. Cicero cum L. Licinium Murenam defenderet M. Catone, viro gravissimo, accusante, ira et indignatione commotus, Saltatorem, inquit, appellat L. Murenam Cato; consulem populi Romani saltatorem appellare accusatori ipsi ignominiam secum ferre, Nemo enim fere, inquit, saltat sobrius nisi forte insanit. hic quem produco crimine tam vehementi tamque inepto intactus et inlacessitus hoc omnibus probat, Graecis quidem notissimum, Romanis parum intellectum, in eodem viro cum dignitatem amplissimam tum saltationem exquisitissimam posse consistere. in insula Jamaica natus, Londinium primum, mox Oxoniam patrono Caecilio Rhodes migratus, ad illud studiorum genus se praecipue contulit quod societatis hodiernae mores consuetudines religiones serio scrutata ita explicare conatur ut nos vitam ipsam qualem cotidie experimur melius intelligamus. mox docere coepit, haud ita multum post Professor evasit; quod culmen ipsum longe reliquit, cum Vice-Cancellarii vicem expleverit, mox autem Vice-Cancellarius ipse creatus Universitatem suam quinque iam annos felicissime gubernet. libros conscripsit luculentos, quibus gentis suae mentem unicum ad modum inluminavit, quorum duos libet citare, unum quo Indorum Occidentalium artes proprias excussit, alterum quo Afrorum suorum radices rhythmosque agitandos celebrandosque sibi sumit; libet dissertatiunculam quoque eligere qua de Anausorum fabulis disceptat in quibus homines stultitiam simulant, sapientiores eludunt; Aesopi illius cognatos agnoscimus, imbecillorum artes, validiorum repulsas laeti salutamus. libellorum alienorum gravis est sed idem benevolus editor, qui saepe edendi labores nemini nostrum ignotos utilitatis suae immemor sustulit. quibus curis impeditus nihilominus et ipse saltat et ceteris saltationes novas invenit; libet Sophoclem tragicum conferre, qui ipse tripudiorum auctor erat feracissimus. ut uno verbo exprimam quod peritiores sentiunt: nemo est qui tanta doctrina, nemo qui pari acumine civium suorum vitas et ingenia inluminat.

Praesento Cancellario Vice-Cancellarium, omnium Musarum hominem, in re gerenda efficacissimum, in doctrina eminentissimum, in saltando mobilissimum, Virum Honorabilem Regem Nettleford, Ordini insigniter Meritorum adscriptum, Magistrum in Philosophia, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Iure Civili.


Marcus Cicero, the very greatest of all Orators, in his judicial defence of L. Licinius Murena against the weighty prosecution of Cato, makes a show of great indignation and outrage. `My opponent', he says, `has called Murena a dancer' To call a Roman magistrate a dancer, says Cicero, was disgraceful to the man who dared to utter it. `Of course', Cicero goes on, `nobody dances when he is sober, unless of course he is crazy'. Professor Nettleford, our next honorand, can serve as a visible refutation of that absurd judgment, which leaves his dignity unimpaired. The Greeks knew very well, though the Romans did not, that the same man can combine exquisite dancing with the highest rank and dignity. Professor Nettleford was born in Jamaica and came first to London and then to Oxford, where he applied himself to the study of the manners and rituals of contemporary society, and to the illumination and understanding of our own lives. He soon began to teach, and it was not long before he was a Professor; further promotion made him Pro-Vice-Chancellor; that post itself was soon left behind as he became Vice-Chancellor, and for five years he has been at the head of his University. He has written some brilliant books, in which he has shed unequalled light on the mentality of his people. I can refer to two: one on West Indian Cultural Identity, another on Roots and Rhythms, in which he discusses and celebrates the origins and the typical music of the people of the West Indies. I mention also his treatment of a set of legends of the Anausi people; as they say, `acting fool to catch wise'. We recognise a kinship with the fables of Aesop, in which also we are pleased to see the guile of the weak defeat the force of the strong. He is a painstaking but benign editor, who has repeatedly shouldered, in a self-sacrificing spirit, the burden---understood by us all---of editing journals. Despite all these commitments, he is himself a dancer and a choreographer. One is reminded that the tragic poet Sophocles was, with his other accomplishments, a choreographer of power and originality. The unanimous view of those who know is that our guest is unmatched in the learning and the acuteness of his understanding of the lives of his people.

I present to a Chancellor a Vice-Chancellor, a man of the greatest versatility: effective in action, outstanding in erudition, and most supple in the dance, Professor the Honourable Rex Nettleford, OM, M.Phil., for admission to the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

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Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University

Virorum honorandorum agmen claudit vir quo neminem inveneritis qui cum Caecilio Rhodes vinculis artioribus coniunctus esse videatur: in Universitate enim Rhodesiana educatus huc scholaris ipso patrono venit, ubi se ad artem herbariam tam attente contulit ut Philosophiae Doctor evaderet; mox domum regressus in eadem Academia, quae ipsa cum hac nostra summa familiaritate connexa est, tam recto officiorum cursu processit ut ex ordine praelector professor Vicecancellarius creatus huc iam merito redeat honorandus. quid aptius ergo quam ut vir tam penitus colore Rhodesiano imbutus in pompa hodierna ultimus non mimimus procedat? neque in hoc ab ipsius fundatoris institutis discedit, quod mente sana in corpore sano prudentissime conservata tam strenuus tamque doctus est pilae lusor ut et adulescens ter tunica cyanea vestitus cum hostibus nostris veteribus decertarit, et nunc summo magistratu functus invictum se iunioribus praestet. neque studia severiora neglexit, qui et de clostridiis quae vocantur librum ediderit doctum, Iuppiter et laboriosum, et libellorum tantam multitudinem profuderit ut dies me deficiat si numerare coner. quae sint clostridia, quaeret quispiam, quove beneficio homines donabit is qui istam materiam excutiendam tractandamque sibi sumet? nempe de bacteriorum genere verba facimus et quidem saepe, sed non semper, hominibus exitioso, quod cum in visceribus latitet morbos tres gignit unumquemque mortiferum; animo igitur gratissimo virum salutamus qui bellum cum hoste tam gravi gesserit. sed hic mox e laboratorio egressus ad ipsa Academiae Rhodesianae gubernacula prodiit, se rebus maximis gerendis parem praestitit, Vicecancellarius universorum consensu creatus Universitatem suam, magnitudine quidem haud amplissimam sed studiorum bonitate praestantem, septem iam annos tam prudenter regit ut inter praeclarissimas patriae suae academias emineat. ac nescio an hinc aque scholis Oxoniensibus in quibus ipse formatus est admirabilem illum morem traxerit discipulos non gregatim docendi sed ita ut ritu antiquo illo Romano instruat virum vir.

Praesento Cancellario Vicecancellarium iam fere ab ipsis incunabulis usque Rhodesianum, qui Academiam illustrem, nobiscum vinculis intimis coniunctam, successu gubernat luculentissimo, David Randle Woods, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Iure Civili.


The last of our procession of honorands is a man with uniquely strong ties with Cecil Rhodes. Educated at Rhodes University, he came here with a Rhodes Scholarship and applied himself to biological studies, earning the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. He returned to his home University and pursued a career there, in turn as Lecturer, Professor, and Vice-Chancellor; he now returns among us to be deservedly honoured with an honorary Doctorate. No more appropriate person could appear in today's procession, in which he is last but not least, than a man so deeply coloured by the Rhodes experience. He is true to the Founder's hopes in sensibly maintaining physical health as well as mental: he represented the Dark Blues at squash against our ancient Cambridge rivals three times, and still, in his present exalted position, he is an avid player, unbeaten by any student. He has not neglected more academic activities, having edited a substantial book on Clostridia and published countless scientific articles. What are Clostridia, someone may ask, and what is the benefit to humanity in dealing with that material? Clostridia are a kind of bacteria which can be fatal, lurking in the intestines and producing no fewer than three deadly diseases; so we must owe a debt of gratitude to a scientist who works on such a plague. Dr Woods, however, came to leave the laboratory for a leading role in the administration of his University. He showed such aptitude for high office that by common consent he became Vice-Chancellor of a University not enormous in size but outstanding in quality, and he has been its head for seven years. It now stands very high among the Universities of South Africa. It may be from Oxford and his own experience here that Dr Woods imbibed the belief in teaching, not in large units, but on the tutorial system, face to face.

I present David Randle Woods, a man connected with Rhodes from the very beginnings of his career, a highly successful head of a University linked with us by strong bonds of community, for admission to the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

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The Mathematical and Physical Sciences Board has conferred the title of Visiting Professor in Information Engineering upon DR JOHN TAYLOR, OBE, FRS, F.R.ENG., Director General of the Research Councils, for a period of three years from 30 June 2003.

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The Social Sciences Board has reconferred the title of Visiting Professor in Law on PROFESSOR JANE STAPLETON, Research Professor in Law at the Australian National University, for a further period of five years from 1 October 2003, and has conferred the title of Visiting Lecturer in Law on AIDAN ROBERTSON, Barrister-at-Law, for a period of three years from 1 October 2003.

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The composition of the electoral board to the post below, proceedings to fill which are currently in progress, is as follows:
                                           Appointed by

Professorship of Orthopaedic 
   Trauma Surgery

The Principal of Somerville              Mr Vice-Chancellor
The President of Wolfson                 ex officio
Miss L.J. Hands                           Council
Professor D. Marsh                        Council
Dr K. Fleming                             Medical Sciences Board
Professor A.J. Carr                       Medical Sciences Board
Professor I. Lowden                       Medical Sciences Board
Mr P. Worlock                             ORHT
Dr M. Francis                             Wolfson College

[1] Appointed by Mr Vice-Chancellor under the provisions of Sects. 10 and 11 of Statute IX (Supplement (1) to Gazette No. 4633, 9 October 2002, p. 108).

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