University of Oxford



Oxford University Gazette: Encaenia 2008

CONGREGATION 18 June

1 Conferment of Honorary Degrees

THE PUBLIC ORATOR made the following speeches in presenting the recipients of Honorary Degrees at the Encaenia held in the Sheldonian Theatre on Wednesday, 18 June:

Degree of Doctor of Civil Law

Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia

Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Government of India

Quicumque in Britannia natus ad Indiam pervenerit, sentiet se in rebus versari quae contraria consociare videantur. Illius enim gentis cultus est antiquissimus, quippe quae carmina componeret et de philosophia dissereret cum maiores nostri adhuc vitro se pingerent; atqui ex India semper aliquid novi. Praeterea, urbes ac mores totaque populi vita simul nostris et maxime differre videntur et eis familiariores esse quos in terris Europaeis offendimus. Nam altera natio alteri nodis inextricabilibus diutissime vincta est; quod testatur huius vita quem nunc profero. Qui postquam baccalaureatum in patria adeptus erat, a Fundatione Rhodesiana electus apud Collegium Sanctae Mariae Magdalenae rebus oeconomicis studuit. Itaque nobis sane ignoscendum erit si aliquantulum superbiemus quod tantus vir partem scientiae suae hoc in loco didicit. Per multos annos Aerario Orbis Terrarum consilium dedit, donec a Primo Ministro ad Indiam est arcessitus; iterum ad Americam regressus, iterum rogante Primo Ministro domum revertit. Ex quo facile intelligas quanti prudentia eius et sagacitas aestimetur. Arte pilae malleo per longa spatia agendae atque in cavum exiguum dirigendae dicitur excellere; id quod κα&tau αλληγορια&nu huius mentem repraesentare potest qui et singula accurate examinat et eventus longinquos secum volutat.

Quis Indiam non admiratur? Quae camporum immensitas! Quae montium altitudo! Quae aedificiorum magnificentia! Quae artis cinematographicae inventio! Attamen olim de rebus Indicis apud prudentes varie disserebatur; e quibus haud pauci putabant civitatem opes et imperium non facile consecuturam esse quae ingenium populi et ubertas terrae polliceri viderentur: mores gentis fortasse contemptum divitiarum adhortari. Quod falsum fuisse nunc plane videmus. Erant enim Indi qui recte arbitrati negotiatores, si vincula legum inutilium excutere possent, commercium magnopere amplificaturos esse, fundamenta prosperitatis iecerunt; inter quos hic locum tenet praestabilem. Dignum igitur et iustum est nos hominem honestare qui et patriae et ceteris gentibus tanta beneficia contulit.

Praesento Montek Singh Ahluwalia, collegii ad divitias Indorum augendas constituti propraesidem, et patriae et totius orbis terrarum civem, Collegii Sanctae Mariae Magdalenae socium honoris causa adscriptum, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Iure Civili.

Admission by the Chancellor

Consiliarie docte et peracute, qui prosperitatem scriptis illustravisti rebus gestis auxisti, ego auctoritate mea et totius Vniversitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Iure Civili honoris causa.

Paraphrase

Anyone born in Britain who visits India finds a kind of paradox in his experience. Here is a very ancient civilisation, where poetry was being composed and philosophy debated at a time when our own ancestors were still painting themselves with woad; and yet there is always some novelty coming out of India. Cities, customs, and the whole way of life seem to us at once both exotic and more familiar than what we encounter on the continent of Europe. The histories of our two nations have long been bound to one another inextricably: a truth to which the career of the honorand whom I now present bears witness. After earning his bachelor's degree in his native land, he was elected to a Rhodes Scholarship and studied economics at Magdalen. I trust that we may be forgiven a touch of self-congratulation at the fact that so distinguished a man acquired some part of his expertise in this place. He worked at the World Bank for a number of years, before being summoned to India by his Prime Minister. He came back to America for a second stint, and then once more returned home, again at the Prime Minister's request. One can readily see from this how highly his judgement and experience are valued. He is said to excel in the art of driving a ball across long distances and coaxing it into a small hole (he is known as a keen golfer); which may stand as a metaphor for the intellect of a man who combines exactness in matters of detail with an ability to take the longer view.

Who does not marvel at India?—its vast plains, its towering mountains, the splendour of its monuments, the inventiveness of Bollywood. And yet the pundits used to be divided in their opinions about the country's prospects. A fair number of them surmised that it would have difficulty in achieving the prosperity and infiuence to which its natural resources and the talents of its people would seem to entitle it. Perhaps (they suggested) there was even a cultural aversion to economic growth. We can now see how wrong that was. Some Indian experts recognised that if the economy were freed from the shackles of superfluous regulation, strong growth was attainable; and they thus laid the foundations of economic success. Our honorand has a leading place among them. It is right and proper, therefore, that we should honour a man who has done such signal service both to his own country and to the world at large.

I present Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India, a citizen of his nation, a citizen of the world, to be admitted to the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

Admission by the Chancellor

Learned and brilliant counsellor, who have explained economic growth in your writings and promoted it in your career, I on my own authority and that of the whole University admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

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Degree of Doctor of Letters

Yves Bonnefoy

Poet, Critic and Translator

Virum nunc induco qui procul dubio de se melius quam ego disserere possit; nam commentarios de poetis Francogallis, inter quos Carolus Baudelaire Arturus Rimbaud Stephanus Mallarmé ;, acuto calamo exaravit. Praeterea, oculos non minus auribus acres habet, quippe qui de aedificiis Franciae medievalibus de architectis Romae saeculo XVII florentibus de nostri aevi pictoribus denique de sculptore Alberto Giacometti amico suo sagaciter scripserit. Litteris etiam Anglicis studuit: in linguam Francogallam et nonnullas fabulas Gulielmi Shakespeare convertit et multa e carminibus Gulielmi Yeats, inter quae illud cui titulus est Pervigilium Omnium Animarum, de Oxonia Oxoniae scriptum. At inprimis sua propter carmina laudandus est, in quibus illa simplicitas lyricis propria cum notionibus tetricis atque implicatis nescioquo modo coniungi videtur. In versibus suis naturam poesis ipsius examinavit: rogat enim num sermo poetarum scientiam vel intellectum dare possit, vult capere quomodo verba, quorum natura lubrica est et instabilis, mundum quem oculis auribus naribus nostris percipimus repraesentent. De eis quidem quae cognitione non sensu percipimus velut philosophus meditatus est, tamen res cottidie visas versibus depingit; itaque in libro recentius e prelo edito non solum de fallacitate verborum sed de saxo de pluviis aestivis de domo natali cecinit. Super unum ex illis carminibus hoc scripsit: 'Duret hic mundus'—quae verba etiam etiamque in ipso carmine repetit. Attamen de morte immortali (verbis illis Lucretianis utor) subtiliter commentatus est: saepe enim mentionem fecit inscriptionis quam in sepulchro Romano offenderat: 'Hic est locus patriae.' Ipsi duas patrias esse censeo, qui et Franciam et cacumina Parnasi incolit.

Praesento poetam bonum, fidelem Musarum satellitem, Ivonem Bonnefoy, apud Collegium Franciae professorem, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris.

Admission by the Chancellor

Vates eloquens et luculente, qui cogitationem profundam pulcherrimo verborum ornatu vestis, ego auctoritate mea et totius Vniversitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris honoris causa.

Paraphrase

I now present a man who could no doubt discuss himself better than I can, as he has composed penetrating essays on French poetry, for example on Baudelaire, Rimbaud and Mallarmé ;. Moreover, his eye is as keen as his ear, for he has written admirably about French Romanesque architecture, the Roman baroque, contemporary painting, and above all on his friend the sculptor Giacometti. He has also turned his attention to English literature, translating into French some of Shakespeare's plays and many of the poems of Yeats, including All Souls Night, a piece about Oxford, written in the city that it describes. But he has earned our praise above all for his own poetry, which mysteriously combines the lucidity natural to lyric verse with difficult and complex thought. His poems assess the nature of poetry itself: he asks whether poetic speech affords a kind of knowledge or understanding, and he seeks to grasp in what way language, slippery and elusive as it is, represents the world that we apprehend with our senses, through eyes, ears and nose. He reflects in the manner of a philosopher upon abstract matters, and yet his verse depicts things familiar in our everyday experience: thus in a fairly recently published volume he has written not only about the illusory quality of words ('dans le leurre des mots') but about stone and rain in summer and his childhood home. One of these poems bears the title, Que ce monde demeure! ['May this world abide'] and these words recur throughout the piece. Yet he has subtly pondered immortal death (in Lucretius' memorable phrase), returning to an epitaph which he found on a Roman tomb: 'Hic est locus patriae' ['Our homeland is here.'] He has himself two homelands, I suggest, as a resident of both France and Mount Parnassus.

I present a man who matches his name, a good poet, a faithful attendant upon the Muses, Yves Bonnefoy, Professor at the Collège de France, to be admitted to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Admission by the Chancellor

Eloquent and luminous poet, who clothe deep thought in beautiful expression, I on my own authority and that of the whole University admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

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Ariane Mnouchkine

Director

Ovidius in Metamorphosesin cum regiam Solis exponit, de columnis sublimibus de ebore de valvis argenteis de auro pyropoque flammas imitante cantat. Ecce femina quae Solis non regiam fecit sed Theatrum. Si autem in vico quodam Lutetiae suburbano aedificium vises quod tenent histriones eius, fortasse miraberis. Nullum aurum, nullae columnae; immo officinam spectabis ad arma quondam paranda constructam. Nam putat, ut videtur, theatrum non e ligno vel lapidibus effingi sed ex arte atque ingenio comoedorum. Dici quidem solet artem esse celare artem, haec vero saepe histriones coram spectatoribus vestitum induere et medicaminibus faciem illinere iubet. Quos dum gubernat, simul liberat; eos enim hortatur ut verba ac gestus ipsi ex tempore proferant, id quod tam artificiose faciunt ut nesciam utrum tragoedi an comoedi mimive sint vocandi: tanta varietas est in illis. Non vult forum et tumultum procul a scaena arceri; saepe enim dicit, 'In praesenti tempore vivo; de quo in praesenti non est, nihil curo.' In spectaculis igitur vitam exulum miseriam populi Cambodiensis bella in Mesopotamia gesta monstravit. Sed licet inter του&sigmaf νεωτερου&sigmaf numeretur, veteres scriptores non omnino neglegit, quos suo tamen more interpretatur, ita ut Aeschylum Euripidemque vatemque nostrum scaenae forsitan Indicae modo vel Sericae repraesentet. Dicitur hac ipsa in urbe, cum psychologiae adhuc iuvenis studeret, primum quae dulcedo esset in scaena cognovisse; quare et dulce est et decorum nos eam ad incunabula artis suae regressam honestare.

Praesento stellam nitidissimam, cuius radiis collucet scaena Francogalla, Ariadnam Mnouchkine, Theatri Solis fundatricem et praesidem, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris.

Admission by the Chancellor

O Sol pulchre! o laudanda! quae iubare tuo spectatores docuisti commovisti illustravisti, ego auctoritate mea et totius Vniversitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris honoris causa.

Paraphrase

When Ovid describes the Palace of the Sun in his Metamorphoses, he talks of lofty columns and of ivory, of silver portals and gold and bronze dazzling like fire. I now present a lady who has created not a palace but a Theatre of the Sun. But if you visit the building in the banlieue of Paris occupied by her company, you may be surprised. Here are no pillars or gilding; instead, you will find a converted munitions factory. For she believes, it would seem, that a theatre is built not of stone or timber but by the skill and talent of the performers. Some people like to say that art lies in the concealment of art, but she commonly gets her actors to put on their costumes and make-up in full view of the audience. She directs them and yet liberates them, encouraging them to improvise their words and actions. They do this so brilliantly that I am unsure whether to call them actors, artistes or entertainers, such is their range. She does not believe that the theatre should be kept aloof from public issues and controversy, often saying, 'I am in the present and only the present matters to me.' Accordingly, her productions have dealt with the life of asylum-seekers, the sufferings of Cambodia and the war in Iraq. Though she is reckoned a member of the avant-garde, she does not altogether neglect the classics, though she interprets them in her own way. Thus she may well produce Aeschylus, Euripides or Shakespeare in the style of Indian or Far Eastern drama. It is said to have been here in Oxford, as a young student of psychology, that she first discovered the delights of the stage, and so it is a very proper delight for us to honour her as she returns to the place which saw the infancy of her art.

I present a bright star, whose beams light up the French stage, Ariane Mnouchkine, founder and director of the Théâtre du Soleil, to be admitted to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Admission by the Chancellor

'Fair sun, most worthy of our praise' (Horace, Odes 4.2), by whose light audiences are instructed, engaged and illuminated, I on my own authority and that of the whole University admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

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Professor Thomas Nagel, FBA

Professor of Philosophy and Law, New York University

Quomodo sensus suos sentit vespertilio? Ecce qui in celeberrimo e commentariis suis hanc quaestionem posuit. Adhuc iuvenis, duos annos in hac Vniversitate studuit baccalaureatumque in philosophia nactus est. Illo tempore philosophi Oxonienses, qui magnum nomen et in Britannia et in America erant adepti, plerumque naturam sermonis examinabant, et praesertim eorum verborum proprietatem quae nos homines in usu cottidiano habemus. Sed hic, licet in hac urbe artem subtiliter et perspicue disputandi sane didicerit, inprimis in naturam mentis investigandam incubuit. Inter problemata quae philosophi sibi posuerunt, nullum est perplexius quam ea quae nobis consciis in nobis sunt intellegere. Caeco colorem, musicam surdo quis explicare possit? At vespertilio sensu hominibus ceterisque animalibus non dato frui videtur; quem hic pari ratione probat nos haudquaquam posse mente concipere.

Cartesius quidem arbitratus est animam a corpore omnino esse seiunctam, putant alii nos si cerebri semel naturam satis intellexerimus, etiam naturam mentis esse comprehensuros. Hic, neque hos neque illum secutus, monstravit quanta in caligine usque versemur. Socrates dicebat se nihil quidem scire, tamen fortasse aliis sapientia praestare quia se nihil scire sciret; hic item, cum filum per labyrinthum sequatur, novit quam remota adhuc sit lux diei. At maximam laudem meo iudicio meruit quod si quis ab hominibus ingenii minus profundi facilior quidam videtur ex illo inextricabili errore exitus inveniri, hunc semper vehementer recusat. Praeterea, calamo tam eleganti atque acuto utitur ut adesse et nobiscum loqui paene videatur: cum de mentibus aliorum scribit, suae mentis quoque indolem ut amicus inter amicos patefacit.

Praesento philosophum et facundum et alta mente praeditum, Thomam Nagel, apud Vniversitatem Novi Eboraci philosophiae et iuris professorem, Collegii Corporis Christi et alumnum et socium honoris causa adscriptum, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris.

Admission by the Chancellor

Magister sapientissime, cuius in libris gravitas cum lepore coniungitur, ego auctoritate mea et totius Vniversitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris honoris causa.

Paraphrase

What is it like to be a bat? Here is the man who posed this question in the most famous of his articles. In his youth he spent two years in this University studying for the B.Phil. At that time Oxford philosophy, which carried great prestige on both sides of the Atlantic, focused upon the nature of language, and especially on the character of the language of ordinary speech. This honorand may well have learnt from his time here the techniques of clear and accurate argument, but his own greatest interest has been in the philosophy of mind. Among the puzzles with which philosophers wrestle, none is more baffling than the problem of consciousness. One cannot explain to a blind man the qualia of experiencing colour, nor music to the deaf. The bat seems to have a sense additional to those possessed by human beings and other animals; and, as our honorand has argued, we cannot, on the same principle, conceive what this is like. Descartes supposed that body and mind are entirely distinct; others have held that if we can understand the brain fully, we shall have explained the nature of mind. Our honorand, accepting neither of these views, has shown how dark the question remains. Socrates said that he knew nothing but that he was perhaps wiser than other people, because he knew that he knew nothing; and our honorand, in turn, though he follows the thread through the labyrinth, recognises that the light of day is still far off. He deserves especial praise, I suggest, because he firmly rejects the easy ways out of the tangle that have appealed to more superficial thinkers. Moreover, he writes with such elegance and clarity that he almost seems to be talking to us face to face: when he discusses Other Minds he opens to us the character of his own mind, as though in conversation among friends.

I present a philosopher who is both eloquent and deep, Thomas Nagel, Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, former student and Honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi College, to be admitted to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Admission by the Chancellor

Wise master, in whose works weight and eloquence are combined, I on my own authority and that of the whole University admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

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Degree of Doctor of Science

Professor Bert Sakmann

Director of the Department of Cell Biology and Professor of Physiology, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research

Si eis credimus qui rationi student qua 'terra dedit primum mortalia saecla', homo Heidelbergensis, licet humano generi attribuendus sit, nobis multo insulsior erat: instrumentis quidem illum esse usum, rudibus tamen atque inconditis. Atqui hodie hominem Heidelbergensem induco qui hominem sapientem—sic a nobis ipsis magnifice nuncupamur—sapientia excellere videtur, utpote qui instrumenta tam subtilia construxerit ut res antea in caligine mersas in lucem produxerit. Sunt in unaquaque cellularum ex quibus corpora omnium animantium fabricantur canaliculi per quos moleculae vi electrica agitatae (quas docti iones vocant) mandata a cerebro profecta ad nervos et musculos perferunt. At hi canaliculi tam tenues sunt ut antehac in dubio esset num revera exstarent; hic tamen machinam excogitavit cuius opera eos non solum exstare probavit sed etiam conspicere potuit. Quos si non in corporibus nostris haberemus, neque incedere nec loqui nec cogitare possemus; est ergo maximi momenti ut bene intellegantur, praesertim quod si mutati vel deformati erunt, morbi varii sequentur. Itaque huius reperta non solum scientiam auxerunt sed spem aegris attulerunt. Praeterea inventa sua doctis large communicavit (tanta est hominis humanitas); quare multi ad officinam eius ut ad fanum peregrinatores eo consilio adveniunt ut doctrinam combibant et ad suam inquisitionem adhibere possint. Vt Ionem filium perditum Xuthus in aede Apollinis Delphici invenit, ita hic in aede sua scientiae dedicata iones indagare potuit. Pro miraculis forsitan ea habeamus quae vidit et explicavit, tamen non a divino numine ortis sed ex ingenio hominis sapientissimi retectis.

Praesento scrutatorem rerum minutarum oculatissimum, Bertoldum Sakmann, apud Institutionem Planckianam Heidelbergensium Professorem, praemio Nobeliano nobilitatum, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Scientia.

Admission by the Chancellor

Magister sapientissime, qui summum ingenium et in machinarum fabricatione et in animantium investigatione praebuisti, ego auctoritate mea et totius Vniversitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Scientia honoris causa.

Paraphrase

If we may believe the experts who study the process whereby 'earth first brought forth living things' (as Lucretius has it), Heidelberg Man, though classified as a form of human being, was a good deal duller of wit than ourselves: he used tools, but tools of crude and primitive manufacture. Today, though, I present a Heidelberg man who seems to excel Homo sapiens—as we conceitedly style ourselves—in sapience, for he has made tools of such delicacy that they have brought into the light matters formerly wrapped in darkness. In every one of the cells from which the substance of all living things are constructed there are channels through which ions (that is, molecules carrying an electric charge) transmit the brain's instructions to nerves and muscles. So fine are these channels that it used to be uncertain whether they actually existed, but our honorand devised a mechanism by the aid of which he was able not only to prove their existence but even to see them. If we did not have ion channels in our bodies, we would be unable to walk or talk or think, and so it is of the first importance to understand them thoroughly, not least because genetic mutations in them are the cause of many defects and diseases. Our honorand's discoveries, therefore, have not only added to knowledge but brought hope to sufferers. With characteristic generosity, he has shared his findings freely with other scientists, many of whom have travelled to his institute like pilgrims to a shrine, in order to absorb his expertise and apply it to their own researches. As in the Greek story Xuthus found his long lost son Ion in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, so our honorand has succeeded in tracking down ions in his own temple of science. We may well be inclined to regard the things that he has seen and described as miracles—miracles, however, not proceeding from some divine intervention but brought to light by the ingenuity of a purely human being, an outstanding example of his supposedly wise species.

I present a penetrating investigator of the tiniest things, Bert Sakmann, Professor at the Max Planck Institute of Medical Research, Heidelberg, and Nobel Laureate, to be admitted to the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

Admission by the Chancellor

Wise master, who have demonstrated great brilliance both in the devising of machinery and in the study of living matter, I on my own authority and that of the whole University admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

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Professor Sheila Evans Widnall

Institute Professor and Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, former United States Secretary of the Air Force

Cum abhinc viginti lustra Facultas nostra Ingeniariae instituta sit, hoc praesertim anno eos honestare volumus qui hanc scientiam maxime promoverunt; inter quos haec femina locum tenet praestabilem. Constat eam fluxum et aëris et aquarum summo ingenio explicavisse; commentarium quidem tam egregium adhuc iuvenis scripsit ut docti de instabilitate Widnalliana loqui soleant; quibus verbis motus machinarum non ipsius indoles sane describitur. Immo tam firmam tenacem prudentem se praebuit ut saepe e lucis academiae in lucem fori arcessita sit. Ita praeses Civitatum Americanarum Foederatarum, ipse Oxoniensis et perspicax meriti existimator, eam militibus in aëre pugnantibus praeposuit, quo in magistratu prima e sexu muliebri partem exercitus Americanae gubernavit. Ovidius autem in Metamorphosesin narrat Icarum alis a patre effictis per aethera volavisse, tamen caeli cupidine tactum altius ad solem iter egisse et cera quae pennas vinciret liquefacta in mare decidisse. Viam eam mediam, quam ille neglexit, haec secuta est, quippe quae vitam inter forum et φροντιστηριο&nu ad patriam iuvandam scientiam augendam partiverit. Propter sagacitatem spectatam multis collegiis adscripta est, multis etiam praesedit. Nonnunquam loca non antea solo muliebri trita peragravit, aliis mulieribus viam indicavit. Quare ut Caesar Augustus 'Multa exempla imitanda posteris tradidi' adfirmare possit. Ille post mortem divus creatus est; haec, licet divinos honores non speret, mente animoque per ardua ad astra processit. Dicit Ovidius spectatores Icarum et Daedalum quia aethera carpere possent deos esse credidisse; nos humanum potius ingenium admiramur quo caelum ipsum possumus attingere.

Praesento feminam et doctrina et auctoritate praestantissimam, Sheilam Evans Widnall, apud Institutionem Technologiae Massachusettsiensium professorem, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Scientia.

Admission by the Chancellor

Femina egregia, quae et liquidi naturam liquide explicavisti et patriae tuae bene servivisti, ego auctoritate mea et totius Vniversitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Scientia honoris causa.

Paraphrase

Our Department of Engineering Science is currently celebrating its centenary, and so in this year especially we wish to honour those who have done most to advance the subject, among whom this lady occupies a distinguished place. She is well known for her mastery of fluid dynamics; indeed, an early paper of hers has had so much influence that the experts talk about 'Widnall instability'. This phrase refers to the behaviour of physical objects and certainly not to her own character. On the contrary, her reliability, resolve and judiciousness have led to her often being summoned from the groves of academe into the glare of public life. So it was that the President of the United States, no mean judge of quality, as one would expect from an Oxford man, appointed her Secretary of the Air Force, a position which made her the first woman to be politically at the head of a branch of the American armed services. In his Metamorphoses Ovid tells the story of Icarus flying through the air on the wings made by his father; 'touched by desire for heaven', he soared too high, melting the wax that held his feathers together, and plunged into the sea. Our honorand has followed the middle path which Icarus neglected, dividing her career between the public stage and the laboratory, to the benefit of her country and the increase of knowledge. Her reputation for good judgement has put her on to many public bodies, often in the chair. In several cases she has (to adapt Lucretius' language) set foot on territory untrodden by female foot before, becoming a role- model for other women. Like the Emperor Augustus she could claim, 'I have established many precedents for posterity to follow.' He was made a god after his death; she may not aspire to divine honours, but she has nevertheless, like our own Royal Air Force, striven valiantly towards the stars. In Ovid's story the onlookers thought that, since Icarus and Daedalus could travel through the air, they must be gods; for us, though, it is human ingenuity that excites admiration—an ingenuity that has enabled us to reach the sky.

I present a lady whose leadership has been as outstanding as her science, Sheila Evans Widnall, Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to be admitted to the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

Admission by the Chancellor

Distinguished lady, who have lucidly analysed the behaviour of fluids and have also given sterling service to your nation, I on my own authority and that of the whole University admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

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Professor Ada Yonath

Martin S. and Helen Kimmel Professor of Structural Biology and Director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly, Weizmann Institute of Science

Erant inter antiquos qui credebant mundum ex atomis esse factum; putabant tamen haec corpuscula, sive levia essent sive hamata sive mucronibus praedita, naturam solidam et simplicem habere. Nostro tamen saeculo, cum physici probaverunt haec insecabilia secari posse, tum biologi docuerunt atomos in moleculas colligi eque moleculis coniunctiones fieri quarum implicatissima sit fabricatio. Femina quam nunc produco eminentem locum inter eos occupat qui his rebus incumbunt; cuius reperta breviter explicare conabor. Vt e lapidibus aedificia, ita materia omnium animantium magnam partem e proteinis constituitur. Haec e multis et variis corpusculis contexuntur, in quibus invicem leges quae formam atque indolem constituunt omnium animalium quae aDNAscuntur velut in tabula litterae exarantur. E proteinis diversis et multiplicibus materia figuratur quae ribosoma nuncupatur. Id autem antehac constabat maius et fragilius esse quam ut arte crystallographica adhibita inspici posset. Sed haec multos post annos rationem ribosomatis cuiusdam microbacilli totis partibus describendi repperit; id quod scientiam adeo auxit ut docti sperent se et φαρμακ&alpha iam nota meliora reddituros esse et nova mox reperturos.

Multis honoribus iam cumulata, nuperrime praemium a Fundatione Orealiana donatum recepit, quia est dignissima. Praeterea, pacem et iustitiam inter gentes Medii Orientis tenaciter desiderat; quare collegio cui nomen SESAME datum est auxilium dedit, in quo homines e pluribus eius regionis populis orti ad rerum naturam indagandam una congregantur. Speramus ut in fabula hoc verbum speluncam aperiat, ita per hoc inceptum doctos viam et ad scientiam et ad amicitiam semper crescentem esse aperturos.

Praesento animalium minutissimorum investigatricem eximiam, Adam Yonath, apud Institutionem Weizmannianum Professorem, Institutionis Planckianae apud Hamburgenses quondam praesidem, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Scientia.

Admission by the Chancellor

Femina doctissima, cuius reperta et admirationem excitant et genus humanum adiuvant, ego auctoritate mea et totius Vniversitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Scientia honoris causa.

Paraphrase

There were people in antiquity who believed that the world was made up of atoms, but they supposed that these particles, whether smooth or hooked or angular, were simple solids. In modern times, however, the physicists have shown that these so-called indivisibles can indeed be split, while the biologists have taught us that the molecules compounded from atoms in their turn form compounds of extraordinary chemical complexity. The lady whom I now introduce holds a distinguished place among the scientists in this field; I shall try briefly to explain the nature of her research. Proteins are as it were the building blocks from which a good deal of all living organisms is constructed. They are made up of many different chemicals, in which are encoded the sequences of DNA letters which carry the blueprint of life. In turn, a diversity of proteins forms what are called ribosomes. Scientists used to feel certain that the ribosome was too large and too fragile for analysis by crystallography. But by means of research extending over many years the present honorand developed a means of mapping the complete structure of the ribosome of a particular bacillus—an advance in understanding so important that it offers the prospect of improving existing drugs and developing new ones.

This lady has received many honours, most recently the L'Oréal Prize, because she is worth it. She is, moreover, committed to the achievement of a just peace in the Middle East. Accordingly, she has been involved in the setting up of the SESAME project, which will establish an international centre for research, drawing upon scientists from a good number of the countries in this region. We hope that as in the fable this was the magic word that opened the cave, so this enterprise will open for scientists a road towards the steady increase of both knowledge and friendship.

I present an exceptional investigator of the foundations of living matter, Ada Yonath, Professor at the Weizmann Institute of Sciences, former head of the Max Planck Research Unit at Hamburg, to be admitted to the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

Admission by the Chancellor

Most learned lady, whose discoveries both excite our admiration and benefit humankind, I on my own authority and that of the whole University admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

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Degree of Doctor of Music

Dame Carolyn Emma Kirkby, DBE

Soprano and Proponent of Early Music

Ecquid facere nequeunt qui litteris humanioribus Oxoniae bene studuerunt? Abhinc tres annos virum honestavimus qui eis studiis perfectis ad physicam se contulit praemiumque Nobelianum nactus est; et hodie feminam ad gradum doctoris extollimus quae non omnino in musicam prius incubuit quam scripta Graeca et Latina satis perscrutata erat. Illa aetate Eduardus Fraenkel, vir doctissimus et formidolosus, discipulos docuit vel terruit; quem ea dicitur ut Orpheus lyra bestias ita lepore domare potuisse. Certum est ex eo tempore vix minus quam Orphea ipsum eam homines arte sua fascinavisse. Existimator musicae quidam haud ineptus est arbitratus optimam eam esse ex omnibus cantatricibus quae numquam opera Iosephi Verdi cecinerint. Vocis pulchritudinem quis nescit? Quam alii (stulte, ut opinor) sono puerulorum, alii campanae, alii argenti liquidi rivo comparaverunt. Sed laudem etiam maiorem meo iudicio meruit quia huic dono a Deo dato peritiam scientiam doctrinam addidit.

Apud poetas deae saepius ut invidae et petulantes repraesentantur: ita Iuno in Vergilii Aeneide adfirmat se cum optata impetrare nequeat ipsum Acheronta esse moturam. Quare haudquaquam sine causa, ut puto, cantatrices quae magnum nomen adeptae sunt divae saepe nuncupantur. A quibus haec omnino discrepat, quae cum gloriari potuerit, comitatem et verecundiam usque servavit. Ipsa dixit eo honore quo nuper donata est serenitatem et liquiditatem vocis et cantantium inter se cohaerentiam potius quam magnitudinem vel ostentationem celebrari. Concordiam non solum sonorum sed et musicorum fovet; quare cum ab omnibus laudatur tum permultorum suscitat amorem.

Praesento philomelam Anglicam, decimam Musam, Carolinam Emmam Kirkby, Excellentissimi Ordinis Imperii Britannici Dominam Commendatricem, Collegii de Somerville et alumnam et sociam honoris causa adscriptam, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Musica.

Admission by the Chancellor

Cantatrix lepidissima, quae et permultos arte tua delectavisti et pulchritudinem musicae inprimis antiquae aperuisti, ego auctoritate mea et totius Vniversitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Musica honoris causa.

Paraphrase

Is there anything that those who have read Greats at Oxford cannot do? Three years ago we honoured a man who after completing this degree turned to physics and won a Nobel Prize for it, and today we confer a doctorate on a lady who did not devote her whole time to music until she too had made this thorough study of Greek and Latin texts. In those days the vastly learned and formidable Eduard Fraenkel was teaching (or terrorising) his pupils, but she is said to have subdued him by her charm as Orpheus subdued the beasts with his lyre. At all events, in the succeeding years her art has come close to that of Orpheus himself in its power to bewitch the world. A competent critic has described her as the best singer never to have sung Verdi. The beauty of her voice is known to all; some have compared it (quite wrongly, I believe) to a boy's voice, others to a bell, and yet others to a stream of silver. But I suggest that she deserves the greater praise for adding to this God-given talent musicality, technical mastery and historical understanding.

The poets often represent goddesses as jealous and self-assertive; thus Juno in Virgil's Aeneid declares that since she cannot get her way she will raise Hell itself. So I think that there is good reason for celebrated sopranos to be called divas. This honorand is entirely different: with ample reason to boast about herself, she has always remained easy and modest. She has herself said that her recent damehood should be taken as a tribute to the virtues of stillness, clarity and ensemble rather than volume and display. She seeks harmony not only in the music itself but also among the performers; and accordingly she has earned, besides the praise of all, the affection of many.

I present an English nightingale, a tenth Muse, Carolyn Emma Kirkby, DBE, former student and Honorary Fellow of Somerville College, to be admitted to the honorary degree of Doctor of Music.

Admission by the Chancellor

Delightful singer, who have charmed so many by your art and have especially revealed the beauties to be found in early music, I on my own authority and that of the whole University admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Music.

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2 Encaenia

THE PUBLIC ORATOR delivered the following Oration 'in Commemoration of the Benefactors of the University according to the intention of the Right Honourable Nathaniel, Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham':

THE PUBLIC ORATOR: Honoratissime Domine Cancellarie, licetne Anglice loqui?

THE CHANCELLOR: Licet.

THE PUBLIC ORATOR: That, sir, is a plain answer to a plain question. It reminds us that it is now a few years since you withdrew from the front line of politics. June is here again, and it brings with it roses blooming in the college gardens, an efflorescence of scarlet and blue in the Sheldonian Theatre, and for me the puzzle of how to express in Latin all sorts of things that Cicero never found a need to say. I am sometimes asked why anyone would wish to be a public orator. I should have thought the answer was obvious: it is to attract beautiful women. Mr Lembit Opik, MP, asked how he had managed to engage the affections of a Cheeky Girl, explained that it must be the aphrodisiac of power. Mr Opik is a former Liberal Democrat spokesman on Wales. How can even that eminence compare with the power of having a semi-captive audience in the Sheldonian for an hour once a year? And nobody knows what I am going to say.

Happily, there are good things to say every year, and this year more than ever. At the launch of our great Campaign, Oxford Thinking (of which I shall say more later), Dame Vivien Duffield, the Chairman of the Campaign, was able to announce two gifts of a wholly exceptional kind. Mr Wafic Saïd, already a recipient of the Sheldon Medal, that rare accolade which we give for benefactions of a special and transformative kind, has made another gift on the same scale for the creation of a Strategic Development Fund for the Saïd Business School. The Garfield Weston Foundation has made the largest single donation in its history in support of the New Bodleian Library; we greatly appreciate this recognition of the importance and ambition of our plans for the library's future development. And only this week the university has announced another benefaction of exceptional scale, from Harriet Heyman and Michael Moritz for the permanent endowment of Christ Church, in support of joint college–university academic posts, student bursaries, and building restoration. The gift will be invested in Oxford University Asset Management, into which Christ Church will simultaneously place the major share of its current liquid assets. This unique scheme is an exemplary case of cooperation between the University and one of its colleges.

Mr Julian Blackwell has also made a munificent gift for the New Bodleian Library. There have been generous gifts from BT plc for the BT Centre for Major Programme Management at the Saïd Business School and from the Man Group plc for the Oxford–Man Institute of Quantitative Finance, the Man Oxford Scholarships and the Oxford–Man Engineering Science Scholarships. Business joins another pressing modern concern in the magnificent donation from the Martin Smith Foundation for the establishment of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. The environment also gains from the splendid gift made by Mr Thomas S Kaplan and Mrs Dafna Recanati Kaplan for WildCRU, the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, and for the establishment of associated research fellowships and scholarships at Pembroke College, and the support of research visitors to WildCRU associated with Lady Margaret Hall. Lady Margaret Hall has also received a noble benefaction from Mr Neil Simpkins, to go towards its new building.

Our scholarship ranges all over the world. This year will see the launch of our China Centre, dedicated to the study of a country that has been especially prominent in the news recently for several reasons, among them the exhibition devoted to the First Emperor at the British Museum. The Emperor Qin's approach to academic research was bracing: he buried alive 460 scholars with whose conclusions he disagreed—which does make a stiff letter to the TLS seem a little ineffectual. In the Middle Ages the University of Bologna had a similarly vigorous retention policy: death for any professor over fifty who accepted a post elsewhere. At least it stopped any other institution returning them to the RAE. These days our relations with other universities are more collaborative. The Ahmet Ertegün Education Fund, in collaboration with the City Charity Trust, has made a large gift for the establishment in perpetuity of the Ahmet Ertegün Memorial Scholarship and for supplemental scholarship funding for graduate students from Bogazici University in Turkey.[ tab] Scientific and medical advances demand dedication from researchers and are often very expensive. We salute the energy of the Harvard professor in the last century who was able to pronounce that the swimmer Annette Kellermann had the most perfect body out of 'ten thousand women scientifically tested'. One trusts that his project was adequately funded. Among the very generous benefactions that our own scientists have received are gifts from Mr Gareth and Mrs Gwenna Roberts for St Edmund Hall and for the Department of Earth Sciences, from the Wolfson Foundation for the Centre for Mathematical Biology in the new Mathematical Institute, and from Dr John M. K. Spalding and Mrs Elizabeth de C. Spalding for an endowed post in neurosurgery.

The present time is seeing the largest and most exciting changes in our museums since the building of the Ashmolean and University Museums in the middle of the nineteenth century. Now that the redevelopment of the Museum of the History of Science is complete, the focus has shifted to the Ashmolean. In the last year, the northern part of the building has been pulled down, and a new structure has arisen. A former keeper at the Ashmolean, Lord Clark of Trinity, once wrote, 'Roots and bulbs, pulled up into the light, give us for a moment a feeling of shame. They are pale, defenceless, unself-supporting.' I felt something of the kind when the demolitions revealed the jumbled foundations of medieval houses, and for a few poignant weeks we saw these frail vestiges of the past disinterred, like skeletons unearthed in a graveyard, before the old stones vanished for ever under the new structure. So, as ever in this place, the new rises on the foundations of the old. The opening of the vastly enlarged museum, scheduled for 2009, will be a thrilling moment. It will include an Ancient World Orientation Gallery, for which the Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation has given munificently. [ tab] The University Museums have received very substantial support from the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council through their Renaissance Programme for improvements to public access, education, collections care, and community involvement. This has allowed the Museums to develop a free service to schools that now attracts more than 100,000 visits from schoolchildren every year. The University Museum of Natural History, with its spindly cast-iron Gothic arches, like the skeleton of a dead cathedral, and the Pitt Rivers Museum, with its mad-professor junk-shop atmosphere of organised chaos, are among the favourite places of all those who know them, and I would not be surprised if their directors weary of people saying to them, 'Don't change a thing. It's perfect.' Not quite perfect, in fact: the interior of the Pitt Rivers was marred by alterations in the 1960s, and the Museum's new project, to begin next month, will restore the building to its original splendour, while providing the resources and facilities that a modern museum needs. It has been generously supported by the Clore Duffield Foundation, DCMS Wolfson, Mr Philip Pullman, Sir Charles Chadwyck-Healey, Diana Parker, and the Friends of the Pitt Rivers Museum. We are grateful to them all. The Museum is famous for its shrunken heads, but I suppose that they will not last for ever. When the time comes to replace them, we shall be looking for benefactors with total commitment.

Our mighty new campaign, Oxford Thinking, was launched three weeks ago in London and celebrated in this Theatre the same evening. We watched a film which managed to pack into twenty minutes a remarkably strong sense of the range, variety and importance of what we do. It brought out our seriousness, but it was entertaining too. We even witnessed a murder at high table. This was in the section on outreach: apparently no teenager thinks a visit to Oxford complete until he has seen a don die.

At the end of the event banners descended from the galleries, decorated with the faces of famous Oxonians from many centuries and many parts of the world. Only one visual aid was sadly missing: Robert Streater's great ceiling painting showing truth resisting the assaults of ignorance and malice will not return until the autumn. Over the past three years we have grown to accept its absence; indeed, a few days ago I was talking to someone who said she liked the plain brown that we see above us today. Well, the trouble with interior decoration, as most of us find out sooner or later, is that one keeps changing one's mind. I expect that when Michelangelo had finished the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Pope Julius looked up and said, 'I think I would have preferred magnolia after all.' For my part, I have missed the painting a great deal. When it returns, it will remind us that across the centuries we have had the habit of outlasting our adversaries. One thinks of the Sicilian bandit on his deathbed, who was asked by the priest to forgive his enemies. 'Father, I have no enemies. I have killed them all.'

From malice and ignorance I turn to something completely different: politics. Last year I was still able to boast that no Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since the Second World War had graduated from any university other than this one. A few days later that ceased to be true, and Mr Brown at last had the chance to show the world what he really thought of us. And so he has: the number of Oxonians in the Cabinet has gone up. Of the present Cabinet of twenty-three members, nine were undergraduates here, eight of them reading PPE—more than a third of the whole body. One may have mixed feelings about this. Sure enough, it was an Oxonian statesman, Lord Healey of Balliol, who said how important it was for politicians to have a hinterland, and it is a common complaint now that the rising generation lack breadth of experience in their individual lives. It is less often remarked that as a collectivity modern politicians lack range. Twenty years ago there were Oxonians in the Cabinet who had read subjects as diverse as history, Greats and chemistry. That variety seems preferable to the present monoculture; and one might wish in particular that more of today's leaders had studied history. All the same, what a compliment to one of our most famous courses.

The Oxford grip on the Cabinet seems unlikely to loosen soon. You may suppose that Mr Brown will be leading his party and his country for many years to come, but if not, lose no time. Exhaustive fieldwork by the oratorical research team in the Cowley Road reveals that the odds are shortening against Mr Miliband of Corpus, Mr Purnell of Balliol, and Mr Hutton of Magdalen. Meanwhile, with the promotion last week of Mr Grieve of Magdalen, five of the eight great offices of state in the actual and shadow Cabinets are held by Oxonians. It is like herbaceous borders: as many gardeners have learnt from grim experience, you can plant lupins in a variety of delightful colours, but after a few years they always revert to dark blue.

As all the world knows, Mr Johnson of Balliol was elected Mayor of London at the beginning of last month. He lost no time in demonstrating the advantages of a top-class education. Within twenty- four hours of his victory he was quoting Virgil and forcing tabloid journalists to look up 'Hyrcanian' in their dictionaries. A few weeks later he was at it again: bowled a googly in the London Assembly, he shot back, 'Non tali auxilio nec defensoribus istis.' There's no answer to that. So I don't want to hear any boys and girls in the back row muttering, 'What's the use of Latin?' Before I leave national politics, there is one sentence that tradition requires me to repeat: the Liberal Democrats held a leadership election and Mr Huhne of Magdalen came a gallant second. Across the Atlantic, I can report that the USA is holding a presidential election. It has been the first for twenty years at least in which an Oxonian has not run for the Democratic nomination, the runners in the previous four campaigns being Mr Clinton of University (twice), Senator Bradley of Worcester and General Clark of Magdalen. Of course, there are some who think that an Oxford man has been running this time after all. Be that as it may, we shall have to wait a few years before we have an Oxonian in the White House again. Incidentally, you must have noticed that Colin Powell and Barack Obama have something in common which distinguishes them from all others who have been thought of as serious presidential contenders. That's right: each is the son of a British subject, and I doubt whether that has been true of any likely candidate since the republic's first half- century or so. Like ground elder and dry rot and Oxonians in the Cabinet, the British influence seems to be hard to eradicate altogether.

We dons live a quiet, snuffly sort of life in our libraries and laboratories, and so we get quite excited at any suggestion that we might belong to the beau monde after all. One of our national newspapers carries a weekly property supplement, with a regular feature on an individual town or area. A few months ago it was Summertown's turn. Summertown was now a happening place, the article explained. True, it used to be infested with 'shabby dons and their frumpy wives'; but luckily losers like that can't afford it any more, and it has become really quite fashionable. Meanwhile our glamorous career as the Hollywood of the upper Thames Valley continues apace. The area around Radcliffe Square is a favourite location. A few years back I remember passing a guillotine newly erected in Catte Street, complete with headsman and cackling tricoteuses. As I was Senior Proctor at the time, I had to stifle a pang of envy. By my reckoning, there have been more films made in Oxford than James Bond movies in the past decade. 'So,' says the Vice-Chancellor, drawing his Walther PPK from under his gown, 'You have met your match, Mr Bond.' Last summer The Golden Compass, based on the book by Mr Pullman of Exeter, was partly filmed here. It depicts a city which appears to be the Oxford that we know and love but which actually exists in a parallel universe. Well, we always knew that Oxford was like that. It was certainly instructive to see that in an alternative universe London looked utterly different, while Oxford looked almost exactly the same.

An interesting commentary on the cultural life of the nation is offered by the ways that undergraduates find of turning an honest penny during the long vacation. For some years they advertised Brideshead Tours; then came the pivotal moment when these gave way to Morse Tours, which in turn were superseded by tours of Lyra's Oxford; and no doubt with a new film version of Evelyn Waugh's novel about to appear, it will be back to Brideshead Tours again. The release of the film will be a challenge to our outreach programme. So let us make it clear: we stand for quails' eggs with Lord Sebastian for all. And since I am speaking of outreach, this is a good moment to salute the Alan Palgrave Brown Will Trust for its splendid gift for the Palgrave Brown Bursary Fund.

There is perhaps one Hollywood power player who can outclass us in the number of films and mini- series she has lately been involved with: Jane Austen. Her sex barred her from higher education, of course, but she was the daughter, sister and aunt of Oxford men, all of them at St John's. When Fanny Price, the heroine of Mansfield Park, travels from Northamptonshire to Portsmouth, the author adds the entirely unnecessary detail that as the coach speeds through Oxford without stopping, Fanny looks out of the window for a sight of her beloved Edmund's college. Passing through the city from north to south she would have passed the front gates of only two colleges. We can surely guess which college she was looking out for. Jane Austen does not usually tell us about the education of her characters, but two of her villains were at Cambridge, and two of her heroes are Oxford men. So too, I am bound to admit, are (in Northanger Abbey) the amiably ineffectual James Morland and the deeply stupid John Thorpe. Miss Austen seems to have thought that we might be dim, but at least we were reasonably nice. I think that we may count her as One of Us. And since the name of Cambridge has crept into this oration, let me add that we always look with maternal complaisance on the successes of our daughter university, and as so often, we can once again congratulate them on some splendid silver medals: second in the Guardian's University Guide for the fourth year running, second in The Good University Guide for the sixth year in succession—second in the Boat Race too. It is indeed like being the proud parent at the school concert: 'Honestly, darling, you were so good.' Well done. Keep it up.

In the New Year Honours Professor John Bell was knighted and Professor Kay Davies made a dame. Dr Margaret Bent and Professors Richard Ellis and Michael Noble received the CBE and Professor Robert Cassen and Dr Peter Neumann the OBE. There was also an honorary OBE for Professor Kathy Sylva. The Birthday Honours have brought a knighthood to Professor Andrew McMichael, CBEs to Professors Paul Collier and Paul Harvey, and an OBE to Professor Anthony Lilley. We also take pleasure in the knighthood awarded to Hugo Brunner as he makes his last appearance at Encaenia as Lord Lieutenant for the county. This year also sees the retirement of the High Steward, Lord Bingham; his successor is to be Lord Rodgers of Earlsferry. A few years ago there was a brief moment when the heads of the three jurisdictions of the United Kingdom—Lord Bingham in England, Lord Rodgers in Scotland, and Lord Hutton in Northern Ireland—were all graduates not only of Oxford but of the same college, Balliol. While the university becomes ever more international in terms of its staff and students, it seems, ironically and regrettably, to be getting harder for us to maintain ourselves as a fully national university, and a Scottish representation in this high office is especially welcome. If one translates High Steward into another European language and back into English again, it usually comes out as 'Head Butler', and Lord Bingham has indeed performed the duties of his office with an unobtrusive style and dignity which would compel even a Wodehousian butler to admit him as an equal.

At its most recent elections, last summer, the British Academy chose eight of its thirty-six new fellows from among our number. They are Professors John Barton, Harvey Brown, Andrew Burrows, Catriona Kelly, Richard McCabe and H. Peyton Young, Dr Toby Barnard, and Mr Nicholas Purcell. Seven of us have been elected to fellowships of the Royal Society (I do like saying 'us'): they are Professors Fraser Armstrong, John Bell, David Deutsch, Brian Foster, Russell Foster, Graham Russell and Ulrike Tillman. There have been many comings and goings amongst the heads of colleges and halls. In addition to those that I named last year, Dr Geoffrey Thomas has retired from Kellogg, and has been succeeded by Professor Jonathan Michie. Father Felix Stephens has followed Father Leo Chamberlain as Master of St Benet's; Dr Paul Fiddes has been succeeded at Regent's Park by Dr Robert Ellis; and Mr Nicholas Richardson has retired from the Wardenship of Greyfriars. This autumn Professor Hermione Lee will go to Wolfson; Professor Paul Madden will take over from Sir Alan Budd at Queen's; and Sir Ivor Crewe will succeed Lord Butler at University College. A couple of these names tempt me back for a moment to politics, for I cannot help noticing that when Oxonian Prime Ministers get into a spot of bother, it is Oxonian peers whom they ask to conduct the subsequent inquiry: Franks on the Falklands, and Hutton and Butler more recently. One does want someone who will understand.

I end, as ever, by calling to our minds those of our friends and colleagues who have died in the past year, among whom are Wlodzimierz Brus, Fellow of Wolfson, Gavin Cameron, Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Sir Howard Colvin, Fellow of St John's, John Edwards, Fellow of Keble, Peter Fraser, Fellow of All Souls, Michael Frede, Fellow of Keble, Andrew Glyn, Fellow of Corpus Christi, Graham Higman, Fellow of Magdalen, Susan Hurley, Fellow of All Souls, David Kendall, Fellow of Magdalen, Hélène La Rue, Fellow of St Cross, Jack Lankester, Fellow of St Catherine's, Geoffrey Lewis, Fellow of St Antony's, John Owen, Fellow of Lincoln, Donald Pennington, Fellow of Balliol, and Herbert Sixsmith, Fellow of Wolfson. Requiescant in pace et in aeternum luceat eis Dominus Illuminatio Mea.

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