Encaenia 1998 - (1) to No 4480



<br /> Oxford University Gazette: Encaenia 1998 (supplement)

Oxford University Gazette

Encaenia 1998

Supplement (1) to Gazette No. 4480

Friday, 26 June 1998


University Acts

CONGREGATION 24 June

1 Conferment of Honorary Degrees: Speeches by the Public
Orator

Doctors of Civil Law:

Doctors of Letters:

Doctors of Science:


2 Creweian Oration

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<br /> Oxford University Gazette: Encaenia 1998 (supplement)

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Encaenia 1998: Speeches by the Public Orator


The Rt. Hon. THE LORD MACKAY OF CLASHFERN,
KT, PC, FRSE

formerly Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain

Honorandorum agmen ducit vir qui iudicum iurisque peritorum agmen
semper fere duxit. sed hic mihi caute procedendum est, nam sunt qui
tritissimam istam de felibus obesis cantilenam semper in ore habentes
omnibus causidicis, omnibus oratoribus crimini vertant si quid
avaritia peccaverunt legulei pauci; quod quam inique fieri soleat hic
quem produco evidentissime declarat, qui cum formularum ambages
tollere studuerit, tum iudiciorum rationes magis perspicuas, minus
reis testibusque formidulosas reddiderit. neque hoc virum acutissimum
fefellit, cives nostros idcirco saepe deterreri ne iudicia adirent,
quod res sine nimia impensa confici non posset. quae cum hic pugnaret
ut minueretur, haud mirum si quibusdam stomachum movit. ad artem
mathematicam olim sese conferebat, in qua militavit non sine gloria;
sed mox iuris prudentiae maluit incumbere, ad cives suos rediit,
cursum illum secutus est qui cum ad summos in Caledonia honores duxit
tum ad locum totius Britanniae amplissimum, quem adeptus ita se
gessit ut non numquam controversiam, aliquando altercationem, numquam
non admirationem laudemque commoverit; qui et in causis iudicandis et
in rationibus explicandis summam animi et magnitudinem et
simplicitatem exhibuerit. in iudiciorum institutis plura novavit quam
hoc saeculo quisquam. novum disciplinae genus introduxit quo iuris
scientia doceatur; divorti rationem expedivit qua coniuges sine
acerbitate separari diiungique possint; egregiam illam legem tulit
quae ita infantibus consulit ut parentum iura non neglegantur, quae
lex praesertim nunc ab universis summa laude ac gratulatione
cumulatur.

Praesento Cancellario Cancellarium, legum latorem sapientissimum,
interpretem aequissimum, defensorem potentissimum, Iacobum, Baronem
Mackay de Clashfern, antiquissimi et nobilissimi Ordinis Cardui
Equitem, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in
Iure Civili.

Admission by the Chancellor

Iudex eminentissime, in iudicibus optimis eligendis prudentissime,
qui tuis egregiis laboribus iudicia apertiora, iustitiam parabiliorem
reddidisti, ego auctoritate mea et totius Universitatis admitto te ad
gradum Doctoris in Iure Civili honoris causa.

Paraphrase

The procession of our honorands is led by Lord Mackay, who among
lawyers and judges has always been in the lead. I must be careful
here: there are those who are obsessed with the old cliché
about fat cats, and who hold the whole legal profession responsible
for the greed of a few untypical practitioners. Lord Mackay is
himself a perfect example of the falsity of such judgements. It was
one of his great aims to make legal procedure simpler, more
intelligible, and less alarming to the layman. He did not fail to
observe that many people are deterred from using the courts by the
fear of disproportionate expense; it was only to be expected that his
efforts to reduce it would meet strong opposition. He started out as
a mathematician and gave signs of great promise, but before long he
took up the study of the law, returned to Scotland, and embarked on a
career which took him first to high positions in the Scottish legal
system and finally to the topmost pinnacle of the law in Great
Britain. As Lord Chancellor he was no stranger to controversy,
sometimes intense, but he never lost the respect of the profession
for his courage and his sincerity, both in judging cases and in
explaining his reasoning. He has been responsible for more
innovations in procedure than any Lord Chancellor this century. He
was active in establishing proper training for barristers; his
changes to the law of divorce aimed to avoid the bitterness that too
often accompanies the breakdown of a marriage; and he was responsible
for the very important Children Act, which protects children without
infringing the rights of parents. That Act in particular is now
generally regarded as a masterpiece.

I present a fellow Chancellor, who is wise in devising laws,
judicious in their interpretation, and powerful in their defence:
James, Baron Mackay of Clashfern, KT, for admission to the honorary
degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

Admission by the Chancellor

Eminent judicial chief in your own right and courageously
discriminating nominator of other distinguished judges, you have
striven to make the courts more open and justice more accessible.
Acting on my own authority and that of the whole University, I admit
you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Law.

Next page: Mme Sadako Ogata

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Encaenia 1998: Speeches by the Public Orator


Mme SADAKO OGATA

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Quid tristius quam in exilium deportari? quid magis deplorandum quam
solum vertere, bonis spoliari, patria et domo carere? quantopere
pauperis illius miseremur quem depingit Horatius poeta:


                     pellitur paternos
         in sinu ferens deos 
      et uxor et vir sordidosque natos. 

sed tamen quid his temporibus usitatius? cottidie enim videmus
homines omnium egenos in exilium proici, alios a vicinis suis, alios
a magistratibus:


                                undique totis 
      usque adeo turbatur agris, 

ut cum alio poeta dicam. quorum hominum calamitate si quis non
commovetur, ferreus esse debet. sed aliud est misericordia adfici,
aliud homines egentes atque extorres cibo alere, vestibus amicire,
auxilio alimentoque cumulare: quae omnia haec quam produco septem iam
annos continuos dedita cura administrat. ad summum apud Nationes
Consociatas locum omnium consensu provecta eorum agmen ducit qui
exulantibus aerumnosisque opitulantur; quorum aerarium singulari
incremento locupletavit, et quidem pecunia ultro libereque conlata,
rationes autem excogitavit quibus istarum nationum cives sibi ipsis
subvenire ac succurrere possint. feminam produco minime domisedam,
quae cum bella intestina locosque periculosissimos saepe visitarit, a
quibusdam Anicula loricata appellatur. ea autem effecit Ogata togata
quae viri armati ac paludati efficere nullo modo possent. permulta
alia sunt de quibus fusius loqui possem; gentis suae apud Nationes
Consociatas diu legata erat cum de maximi momenti rebus agebatur;
cathedram academicam obtinuit, libros luculentos conscripsit, nuper
apud nos de officio suo praelectionem habuit saluberrimam.

Praesento miserorum auxilium, exulantium perfugium, iustitiae
columen, totius orbis terrarum ministram excellentissimam, Sadako
Ogata, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in
Iure Civili.

Admission by the Chancellor

Femina praestantissima, quae de gente tua optime merita campum
beneficentiae ampliorem petivisti, hominum universorum adiutrix
exstitisti, ego auctoritate mea et totius Universitatis admitto te ad
gradum Doctoris in Iure Civili honoris causa.

Paraphrase

What can be more tragic than to be forced into exile, to lose one's
home and possessions, and to become a refugee? We must all feel pity
for the sort of pathetic figure described by the poet Horace:

Clutching their household gods they take to flight,

Parents and children in dishevelled plight.

Yet in our time this one of the commonest of happenings. Every day we
see people driven from their homes, either by their neighbours or by
their governments, `so dreadful the confusion everywhere', to quote
Virgil. One must have a heart of stone, not to be moved by these
scenes. But it is one thing to feel sorry for refugees; it is a very
different matter to feed them, clothe them, provide aid and look
after them. That has been the work of Mme Ogata for seven years,
since she was by general acclamation made United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees and put in charge of its extensive range of
programmes. She has been successful in greatly increasing its budget,
all of which is voluntarily subscribed. She is not one to sit in an
office. Her official appearances in many dangerous parts of the world
have led to her being called the granny in a flak jacket; and she has
often been able to achieve more than any number of heavily armed
military men. There are many sides of her career on which I could
dwell. She has represented her country at the United Nations; she has
held a University chair and published distinguished books; not long
ago she delivered a notable lecture in Oxford on the duties of her
high office.

I present the defender of the destitute, the refuge of the homeless,
the prop of justice, an outstanding servant of the world, Mme Sadako
Ogata, for admission to the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

Admission by the Chancellor

You are a woman of pre-eminent fame, who after distinguished service
in your own country have sought a larger scope and become a
benefactor of the world. Acting on my own authority and that of the
whole University, I admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of
Civil Law.


Next page: Dr A.J. Dorey

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Encaenia 1998: Speeches by the Public Orator


Dr A.J. DOREY

Registrar of the University 1979--98

Quid agit Registrarius? quem registrum custodire, registrum autem
librum esse, in quo res gestae describantur, nemo est quin coniciat
sane, si forte non norit. sed in Universitatis statutis huius
magistratus officia sic definiuntur ut registri istius mentionem non
nisi septimo tandem loco invenire possimus. quid igitur primo? hunc
scilicet a secretis esse hominibus delectis qui singulas Academiae
partes procurent, insignissimo Vice-Cancellario et spectabili
Consilio Hebdomadali gravissimum esse et deliberandi et agendi
auctorem, omnium denique libertorum ministrorum scribarum esse
nauarchum, quo gubernante navis nostra cursum teneat rectum atque
felicem. at enim haec fieri vix sensimus, ipsum Registrarium numquam
animadvertimus se de tanta et officiorum et potestatis amplitudine
iactantem. nec mirum, cum sit dissimulator opis propriae; vir
ceteroqui abstinentissimus hoc uno nomine est Epicureus, quod latere
quam se venditare mavult, quodque auctoritatem suam quae maxima est
ita censet esse adhibendam ut non nisi prudentibus adpareat. nam his
quattuor lustris quantas procellas experti simus, quot tempestatibus
iactata sit Academia, apud prudentes vix opus est ut enarrem: hoc
tantum adfirmo, hunc in areis emendis in quibus aedificia
exstruerentur, in professoribus quaerendis eligendis alliciendis, in
sescentis aliis, gubernaculum rei publicae nostrae tam certa manu
rexisse quam navigium illud suum quod viro in insula Sarnia nato
occupationum levamen ac perfugium praebet acceptissimum. nunc igitur
ut animum testemur gratissimum ei qui tot gradibus conferendis adfuit
nunc gradum conferimus, eum qui infulis candidis ornatus diu
familiarissimus erat nunc insolito more vestitum, toga scilicet
purpurea, semel sane conspicuum reddimus.

Praesento virum qui summam auctoritatem insigni modestia condiit,
Academiae columen, prudentiae specimen, Registrarium eximium, Alanum
Dorey, Doctorem in Philosophia, Collegi de Pembrochia Socium
honoris causa creatum, ut admittatur honoris causa
ad gradum Doctoris in Iure Civili.

Admission by the Chancellor

Vir de Oxoniensibus plurimis deque Academia tota optime merite, qui
salubri tuo consilio toties nobis subvenisti, ego auctoritate mea et
totius Universitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Iure Civili
honoris causa.

Paraphrase

What does the Registrar do? It is not so hard to guess that he keeps
the register, and that the register must record the University's
doings (in Latin, res gestae); but in the list of his
duties in the University Statutes the register is
mentioned only in seventh place. He acts as Secretary of many of the
main University committees; he is the main adviser of the
Vice-Chancellor and Council on strategic planning; and he is the head
of the administrative and clerical staff, responsible for keeping our
ship of state on a correct and successful course. And yet in all
these years we have never been aware of the Registrar drawing
attention either to his powers or to his burdens. That is not
surprising, as Dr Dorey is a man who loves understatement. A man by
no means Epicurean in the ordinary sense, he agrees in one point at
least with the philosopher Epicurus: a preference for the life that
is unobtrusive. His authority is great, and rightly so, but he
prefers to use it in such a way that it is recognised only by the
perceptive and the well informed. Such people do not need to be
reminded of the rough weather which the University has experienced in
the last eighteen years, or of the debt which it has owed Dr Dorey as
it navigated those storms. He has handled matters which have ranged
all the way from the Buildings Committee to the election of
Professors and the negotiation of terms on which they would come to
Oxford; and he has done it all with a hand as steady as that with
which he steers his much loved boat, which has provided this Guernsey
man with his favourite relief from the stress of his position. To
mark our gratitude, the man who has attended so many honorary degree
ceremonies now receives an honorary degree himself, not wearing his
familiar white Geneva bands, but in the unfamiliar splendour of the
DCL robe, as we oblige him to be, for once, conspicuous.

I present a man who has seasoned his authority with modesty, a pillar
of the University, a paragon of wisdom, a Registrar extraordinary, Dr
Alan Dorey, Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, for admission to the
honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

Admission by the Chancellor

You have earned many individual debts of gratitude, as well as the
collective esteem of Oxford. Your wise advice has constantly
sustained the University. Acting on my own authority and on that of
the University as a whole, I admit you to the honorary degree of
Doctor of Civil Law.

Next page: Miss Margaret Atwood

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Encaenia 1998: Speeches by the Public Orator


Miss MARGARET ATWOOD, CC, FRSC

Novelist and Poet

Hanc quam produco paene existimaverim Horatio poetae in mente fuisse
cum his verbis suorum temporum scriptores admonebat:

omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci.

nam fabulae quas composuit tanta sunt iucunditate conditae, adeo
lectorum animos devinctos tenent, ut quod critici nimis saepe
proclamant, id de hac saltem dictum nuda sit veritas: tales enim sunt
quales qui semel in manum accepit vix aut ne vix quidem deponere
valebit. sed minime velim hanc credatis eorum esse qui ita suavitatem
captent ut gravitatem neglegant. quid enim gravius, quid admonitionis
severissimae plenius, quam Ancillae illa Historia, quae mulieres
ostendit rursus cum Rachel patriarchae uxore dicentes, Habeo famulam:
ingredere ad illam, ut habeam ex illa filios. rei publicae formam
finxit incolis quidem formidulosam, auditoribus exquisitam. equidem
vereor ut impossibile sit quod haec mente fingit, adeo grassatur
hodie effrenata illa et dominandi et res incredibiles credendi
libido. sed neque semper arcum tendit Apollo, ut aiunt, neque haec
semper tam atrocibus historiis lectores suos delectat. in eiusmodi
narrationibus plerumque versatur quae virorum cum mulieribus,
maritorum cum uxoribus, gaudia molestias lites querimonias continent:
cuius generis materies cum semper auditorum animos gratissimo quodam
vinculo devinctos habuerit, tum hodie plus difficultatis habet quam
umquam habuit, sed ita ut istius modi libri evolvantur vel attentius:
adeo mutatae sunt mulierum hodiernarum mentes, adeo animi virorum
dubitatione et anxietate vexantur. quae omnia haec ita tractat ut
feminis aequitatis studiosis satisfaciat, virile secus non omnino
reiciat atque contemnat.

Praesento poetriam narratricem criticam eximiam Margaritam Atwood,
Praeclari Ordinis Canadensis Comitem, Societatis Regiae Canadensis
Sodalem, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in
Litteris.

Admission by the Chancellor

Morum observatrix subtilissima, pectoris humani contemplatrix
oculatissima, veritatis imitatrix et narratrix lepidissima, ego
auctoritate mea et totius Universitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris
in Litteris honoris causa.

Paraphrase

Our next honorand is a writer whom the poet Horace might have had in
mind when he said to the writers of his own day,

Good sense and pleasure, both should be your goals;

Give readers both, and you'll top all the polls.

Her novels are delightful to the reader, whose attention she commands
so completely that the old cliché of the reviewers is for once
true: once you have picked one up, you can hardly bear to put it
down. But it would be quite wrong to imagine that Ms Atwood is one of
those writers who go all out for readability and have nothing serious
to say. The Handmaid's Tale contains a serious moral,
dealing with a society in which women say again, like Rachel the wife
of Jacob, `I have a maid; go in unto her, that I may also may have
children by her'. That society is a pleasure to read about, though it
is terrifying to its inhabitants; and I am by no means sure that what
she has imagined could not really happen, the world is so full of the
twin desires, to believe impossible things, and to impose them on
other people. But her stories are not always so dark; as Apollo, we
are told, does not always keep his bow stretched taut. She
specialises in stories which concern the complex and difficult
relations of men and women, an area which has always had its
fascination for readers, but which is nowadays even more problematic
than ever. Books on these themes are devoured with ever greater
interest, with the dramatic changes in the expectations of women, and
the new uncertainties in the minds of men. Ms Atwood's novels and
stories are clearly feminist in tone, but she does not refuse her men
compassion and understanding.

I present the distinguished poet, novelist, and critic, Margaret
Atwood, CC, FRSC, for admission to the honorary degree of Doctor of
Letters.

Admission by the Chancellor

Perceptive observer of human behaviour, you are penetrating in your
understanding of the hearts of men and women, and delightful in the
truthfulness of your representation of the world. Acting on my own
authority and that of the whole University, I admit you to the
honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.


Next page: Mr Neil MacGregor

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Encaenia 1998: Speeches by the Public Orator


Mr NEIL MACGREGOR

Director of the National Gallery

Quid illum mereri dicamus, qui permagnae civium suorum multitudini
delectationis genus cum humanissimum tum innocentissimum praebet? de
hoc rogo qui nunc adstat, qui cum sit vir exquisitissimi iudici
picturarumque existimator subtilissimus longe ab istorum consuetudine
abhorret qui sibi tantum ipsis scientiam suam coacervant atque
custodiunt: alii infantia impediti, qui ea quae sentiunt exprimere
non possint, alii avaritia quadam commoti, qui ceteris impertire sua
nolint. erant olim qui admirabantur hunc potissimum eligi qui
pinacothecae maximae praesideret, virum a noto illo conservatorum
curriculo alienum, qui nondum tirocinium in museo meruisset, sed e
scholis vitaque umbratili progressus commentarios edidisset
Maecenatis Britannici nomine insignes: qui homines ultro confitentur
quantopere erraverint. quid enim a musei amplissimi gubernatore
exspectamus? nempe ut summorum pictorum opera eis curet addenda quae
collegerunt maiores, quo nomine hic paene miracula effecit. at enim
parum est ut picturae conquirantur, nisi digne expromi possunt. hic
sua cum nostrorum temporum Maecenatibus familiaritate blande docteque
abusus et novas porticus aedificavit et paulo vetustiores quae
Gratiarum tempore iniquo constructae et venustate et commoditate
egebant ita refecit ut nunc optime cum picturis Gallicis congruant.
vir liberalissimus artis suae arcana quam plurimis vult patefacere,
qui et ipse multis civium milibus inspectantibus et auscultantibus
maximo omnium plausu summorum artificum opera illustrarit, et illorum
se signiferum praestiterit qui in eo laboraverunt ut gratis universi
in Musarum templa possimus intrare; quos tandem victoriam
reportavisse gaudemus quidquid est hominum venustiorum.

Praesento picturarum conquisitorem conservatorem explicatorem
eminentissimum, thesaurarium summum, thesaurum ipsum, Robertum
MacGregor, Pinacothecae Britannicae antistitem, Collegi Novi Socium
honoris causa creatum, ut admittatur honoris causa
ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris.

Admission by the Chancellor

Vir humanissime, Musarum minister praeclarissime, Musei gubernator
amplificator propugnator celeberrime, ego auctoritate mea et totius
Universitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris honoris
causa
.

Paraphrase

What should be the reward for someone who gives a new pleasure, and a
harmless and improving one, to his fellow citizens? Mr MacGregor is a
connoisseur in paintings and a most perceptive critic, who does not
hoard and monopolise his expertise, as so often seems to happen,
either from a kind of meanness, when the expert is unwilling to share
his knowledge, or from simple incapacity to express it in a way that
other people can understand. At first some people were surprised at
his appointment as Director of the National Gallery. He had not risen
through the regular steps of a museum career, in fact he had not had
a position in a museum at all; he came from a University background,
and he had been the editor of the Burlington Magazine,
named after the British Maecenas, Lord Burlington. Those who
expressed that surprise now hasten to say how wrong they were. What
do we expect of the Director of a great gallery? One thing we hope
for is acquisitions of high quality; and in this area he has done
wonders. But it is not enough to acquire paintings, if they cannot be
adequately displayed. Mr MacGregor has been able to turn to good
account here his friendship with a modern Maecenas or two, and he has
added new rooms to the Gallery and also transformed others, which
were built in the seventies, that graceless period, and made them
into a perfect setting for the French pictures he has displayed
there. He is communicative by nature, and he has won very large
audiences for his highly successful televised talks about great
paintings. He was also among the leaders in the campaign to retain
free entrance to museums and galleries, a struggle in which their
victory is grounds for general rejoicing.

I present a man equally distinguished in the acquisition, the
conservation, and the exposition of paintings, a keeper of the
national treasures, and a treasure himself, Neil MacGregor, Director
of the National Gallery, Honorary Fellow of New College, for
admission to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Admission by the Chancellor

Most inspiriting companion and outstanding servant of the arts, you
have earned world wide fame by your success alike in the extension of
your Gallery, in its management, and in the defence of its interests.
Acting on my own authority and on that of the whole University, I
admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.


Next page: Sir James Mirrlees

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Professor Sir JAMES MIRRLEES, FBA

Professor of Political Economy, University of Cambridge

Redit ad nos honorandus vir quem diu in nostris numerabamus, adhuc
nostrum salutamus. nam viginti septem annos hic cathedram obtinebat,
fisci et opum publicarum rationem nobis explicabat, disceptationes
spinosissimas enodabat quibus continentur graves istae quaestiones
quae ad vectigalia pertinent. et mehercle ni temporis angustiis
interclusus essem civitates plurimas numerare possem quibus hic
consilio subvenit saluberrimo. hoc autem aperte confitendum est: hic
quem produco vectigalia et tributa, quae ceteris fere odio sunt, sibi
expetivit elegit optavit; hic admiranda illa inventa excogitavit,
quae ut sunt Anglico sermone haud ita facilia expositu, ita Latino et
oratori et auditoribus in magnas angustias compulsis tenebras fere
offunderent. ne videar igitur vobis, quaeso, omnino defecisse, si
unam saltem bene propono quaestionem, explicationem quam hic, quo est
acumine, repperit, prudentioribus linquo. primum ergo hoc sumamus: ii
qui summam rerum administrant hoc in vectigalibus imponendis cordi
habent, ut cives, alius alio plus minusve lucri laboribus suis
consecuti, secundum vires suas quisque pensitent, quaestus autem quam
maximus fiat. sed hic haeremus, nam quantum quisque laborando
consequi et in commune conferre possit cuique quidem cognitum est,
rei publicae fiscique gubernatoribus ignotum. quid igitur prohibebit
ne cives pecuniae summam praetendant vera minorem, coactores ac
vectigalia eludant? hic est qui calculum invenit abstrusiorem quo
fretis licet rei publicae rectoribus sic vectigalia imponere ut
universi quantum re vera possunt et laborent et se laborare
fateantur: tum denique satisfieri rei publicae usui, tunc optime
procedere tributorum stipendiorumque rationem.

Praesento computatorum principem, oeconomum summum, rei pecuniariae
magistrum perfectissimum, Iacobum Mirrlees, Equitem Auratum,
Academiae Britannicae Socium, Praemio Nobeliano nobilitatum, ut
admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris.

Admission by the Chancellor

Vir de Cancellarii deliciis, et de hac Academia et de fisco, optime
merite, cuius praeclari labores et huic nostrae rei publicae et aliis
plurimis conduxerunt, ego auctoritate mea et totius Universitatis
admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris honoris causa.

Paraphrase

We welcome back for an honorary degree a man who was for many years
one of us, and whom we still greet as ours. For twenty-seven years
Sir James Mirrlees occupied an Oxford chair, lecturing on public
finances and all the thorny questions that are connected with
taxation. But for the constraints of time I could list many foreign
governments to whom he acted as adviser. It is useless to disguise
the fact that his preferred area of expertise has been one which is
not the most popular with many people: that of revenues and taxation.
It was here that he made those important theoretical advances which
are by no means easy to describe even in English, and which in Latin,
I fear, would plunge Orator and audience alike into a morass of
perplexity. I hope it will not be thought too evasive if I leave a
detailed exposition to more qualified pens and limit myself to a
general statement of one of the problems. Let us assume that in their
taxation policy the aim of governments is to ensure that all
citizens, whatever their income, should pay according to their means;
and also that the total sum raised should be as great as possible.
But there is a difficulty. Each citizen knows his own earning power,
but the taxing authority does not. What is to prevent the citizens
from returning smaller figures? It was Sir James who devised the
subtle calculations which make it possible for intelligent
governments to pursue a policy which will result in each tax-payer
both maximising his earning power and being fully taxed on it. That
is the optimal position in this field.

I present a prince among calculators, a supreme economist, a perfect
master of financial policy, Sir James Mirrlees FBA, Nobel Prizeman,
for admission to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Admission by the Chancellor

You are a man of wide and great services: to this University and to
HM Treasury, two institutions dear to my double cancellarian heart,
and to this nation as well as to many others. Acting on my own
authority and that of the whole University, I admit you to the
honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.


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Oxford University Gazette

Encaenia 1998: Speeches by the Public Orator

Professor CHRISTOPHER RICKS, FBA

Professor at Boston University

Si quis roget in quo Musarum campo cives nostri peregrinis longissime
excellant, hoc sane respondeamus omnes, summum Britanniae decus esse
amplissimam illam librorum praestantissimorum copiam quam per tot
saecula tot florentissimi scriptores posteris tradiderunt. sed quis
nostrum non aliquando hoc secum confessus est, Inopem me copia fecit?
scilicet litterarum nostrarum tanta iam moles est ut lectores ab
interpretibus auxilium atque opem implorent. sed cum critico opus sit
qui sapere et fari possit quae sentiat, tum haud raro accidere
cernimus ut alii ea nimis ignave iterent quae iam antea sunt
enuntiata, alii subtilitatis hodiernae praeter modum studiosi ita
obscuris sermonis ambagibus involvantur ut ipsi mehercle interprete
indigere videantur. quo magis hunc salutamus, qui cum sit singulari
acumine, (nam et in quaestionibus enodandis quibus ceteri haeserunt,
et in offensionibus apud auctores suos ibi dispiciendis ubi ceteri
nihil animadverterunt, nemo omnino est qui huius perspicacitatem
possit aequare), tum in scribendo creber est rerum frequentia, ita
tamen ut nihil putidum, nihil obscurum, nihil sit quo non delectetur
auditor. poetarum editor est indefessus, qui Aluredi illius memoriam
optime defenderit; et rarius lectitatis scriptoribus subvenit
(Georgio Cancro, puta, vel ipsi Eduardo, Comiti de Clarendon) et in
maximis maximum quidque excerptum inlustrat, qui ipsius Iohannis
Milton genus scribendi grande, quo nihil est grandius, digne
agnoverit exposueritque. non cum timido quodam umbratilique doctore
rem habemus, nam in controversiis, ne dicam concertationibus, satis
est exercitatus; nec [Greek - transliteration: dusopiai]
quam dicunt adeo impedito, qui de Iohanne poeta et verecundia, deque
Thomae animo Iudaeis infesto libros emisit, doctos, Iuppiter, et
laboriosos.

Praesento criticorum candidissimum, doctrina admirabilem, iudicio
singularem, acumine unicum, qui nobis ad litteras nostras aditum
patefacit, Christophorum Ricks, Academiae Britannicae Sodalem,
Collegiorum de Balliolo et Vigornensis Socium honoris causa
creatum, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in
Litteris.

Admission by the Chancellor

Horum temporum Aristarche, poetarum lector subtilissime, editor
accuratissime, aestimator aequissime, ego auctoritate mea et totius
Universitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Litteris honoris
causa
.

Paraphrase

If we were to be asked in which of the arts the British have most
distinguished themselves, no doubt the answer would be unanimous. Our
greatest glory is the vast literature in the English language,
produced over so many centuries. Yet which of us has not occasionally
felt daunted by its sheer bulk? English literature is now so
extensive that we feel the need for guidance in our reading. What we
need, of course, is a critic who can (in the phrase of Horace) both
think aright and express his thoughts; but all too often what we find
is that some critics tamely repeat received opinions, while others,
carried away by their desire for the clever and the fashionable, lose
themselves in verbiage so opaque that the reader needs an interpreter
to understand his guide. All the more heartily do we salute Professor
Ricks, who is indeed exceedingly acute, as we see both in his power
to resolve problems that baffle other scholars, and in his ability to
discern difficulties where others have seen none, but whose work,
while densely packed with thought, is never pretentious, never
obscure, and always a pleasure to read. He is indefatigable as an
editor: he has brought the text of Tennyson up to date. He comes to
the rescue of writers who are less read, such as George Crabbe and
the great Earl of Clarendon. In the greatest he brings out what is
most great—he is the author of an excellent book on the grand
style of Milton, than which nothing can be grander. His is no timid
or cloistered scholarship; he is no stranger to controversy, and even
to confrontation. Nor is he unduly bashful, having written at length
on Keats and embarrassment, and on Eliot and anti-semitism.

I present a critic of great candour, a man admirable for learning,
unsurpassed in judgment, and unmatched in acuteness, who opens up
paths for us into our own literature, Christopher Ricks, FBA,
Honorary Fellow of Balliol College and of Worcester College, for
admission to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Admission by the Chancellor

You are a strong candidate to be esteemed the arch-critic of our age.
You read the poets with insight, edit them with accuracy, and expound
them with sympathy. Acting on my own authority and that of the whole
University, I admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.


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Oxford University Gazette

Encaenia 1998: Speeches by the Public Orator

Sir MICHAEL ATIYAH, OM, FRS, FRSE

Formerly Master of Trinity College, Cambridge

Philosophorum princeps Plato aditum in Academiam suam illis tantum
concedebat qui geometriae studuerant; hunc quem produco libentissime
admisisset, qui cum olim Geometriae Professor Savilianus apud
Oxonienses fuerit, nonnumquam queritur ad istam artis mathematicae
partem parum hodie viros mathematicos animum attendere. qui cum de
plurimis illius scientiae provinciis triumphos egerit, (de topologia,
inquam, de analysi, de algebra quam dicunt), universam si quis alius
mente complectitur, unam esse atque indivisam strenue argumentatur;
una autem cum sit, omnes mathematicos qui ubicumque laborent toti
disciplinae inservire. cui sententiae quodam modo consentaneum est et
quod persaepe cum collega uno vel altero una laboravit, una libellos
publicavit, et quod eis praesertim quaestionibus incubuit quas qui
solvunt scientias antea disiunctas artiori inter se vinculo
coniungunt. hunc scientiae suae elementa prima docuerunt Aegyptii,
gens hominum artis mathematicae arcanis iam antiquissimis temporibus
dedita; dein Britanniam regressus Cantabrigiam migravit, ubi mox
coepit excellere; dein Oxoniam devenit ad cathedram Savilianam; brevi
quidem tempore inter Princetonenses contigit considere, id quod
Horatius poeta dicit `adscribi quietis ordinibus deorum', sed se
philosophum vere Platonicum esse ostendit, qui in speluncam redierit,
miseris mortalibus subvenerit, Oxoniam iterum regressus professorum
agmini accesserit; postremo Collegi Sanctae et Individuae Trinitatis
apud Cantabrigienses Magister creatus, si non otium, dignitatem certe
adeptus est. sed vir est minime otiosus, qui Societati Regiae
praesederit, Institutum Newtonianum gubernarit, inter consiliarios
persaepe illis fuerit qui decernunt quae ratio adhibenda sit in
adulescentibus educandis, quae in scientiis sustinendis alendis
provehendis.

Virum praesento in primis acutum, mathematicum primarium, praemiis
honoribusque plurimis adfectum, Michaelem Atiyah, Equitem Auratum,
Ordini Eximie Meritorum adscriptum, Societatis Regiae Sodalem et
nuper Praesidem, ut admittatur honoris causa ad gradum
Doctoris in Scientia.

Admission by the Chancellor

Ingeniosorum ingeniosissime, mathematicorum sagacissime, cum de
academiis tum de re publica optime merite, ego auctoritate mea et
totius Universitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Scientia
honoris causa.

Paraphrase

The great philosopher Plato excluded from his Academy anyone who had
not studied geometry. He would have been delighted to admit Sir
Michael Atiyah, who was for a time Savilian Professor of Geometry at
Oxford, and who has been heard to complain that nowadays
mathematicians devote too little attention to that branch of the
subject. He has notable achievements to his credit in many areas of
mathematics: one might mention topology, algebra, and analysis. He
possesses an extraordinarily wide grasp of the whole of the subject,
which he insists really is one and indivisible; since that is so, all
mathematicians, whatever their special topic, are contributing to the
subject as a whole. It is thus appropriate that he is a notable
collaborator, many of whose important works have been produced in
close co-operation with other scholars, and that he has been
especially interested in problems where the solution brings
apparently separate branches of science closer together. He received
his early education in Egypt, a country famous for its interest in
mathematics from very ancient times. Returning to this country, he
had a distinguished career at Cambridge, which brought him to Oxford
and the Savilian Chair. He then had the chance to work for a time at
the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, or in the words of
Horace `to be enrolled among the carefree ranks of the gods'; but he
proved himself a philosopher in the best Platonic sense by returning
to the Cave in which ordinary mortals must toil, becoming again a
Professor in Oxford. Finally he was made Master of Trinity College,
Cambridge, a position which offers, if not quite the Ciceronian ideal
of leisure combined with dignity, then dignity at least; and Sir
Michael, who seems not to be cut out for a life of leisure, has
served also as President of the Royal Society, as Director of the
Newton Institute, and as an adviser to the government on many
questions of educational and scientific policy.

I present a man of exceptional intellectual power, a great
mathematician, the recipient of numerous medals and distinctions, Sir
Michael Atiyah, OM, FRS, for admission to the honorary degree of
Doctor of Science.

Admission by the Chancellor

Most ingenious amongst the ingenious, mathematician of outstanding
creativity, you have also achieved distinction by your services in
positions of high academic and public responsibility. Acting on my
own authority and that of the whole University, I admit you to the
honorary degree of Doctor of Science.


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Oxford University Gazette

Encaenia 1998: Speeches by the Public Orator

Professor ROBERT HINDE, CBE, FRS

Formerly Master of St John's College, Cambridge

Homo sum, humani nil a me alienum puto: sic olim effatus senex ille
Terentianus summam humanitatis gloriam adeptus est. sed ne nimium
ista histrionali urbanitate pellecti humani generis angustiis hominum
cognitionem circumscribamus admonet cum fabularum scriptor vaferrimus
Aesopus, qui ceteris animalibus linguam et orationem adsignando
doctrinam significat salutarem, tum hospes hic noster, qui ita sese
avium bestiarumque moribus scrutandis excutiendis explicandis
contulit ut hominum quoque ingenio ac moribus clarissimum lumen
infuderit. sed ille pueris magis et aniculis cantat, hic ethologorum
princeps est, in scientiae genere tam sincero quam novo versatur.
aves, et alites et oscines, tam intentis observavit oculis quam nemo
umquam augur, non quidem rerum augurandarum causa sed scientiae
multiplicandae; mox ad simias progressus observavit quo modo mater
partum suum foveat, partus matrem suam diligat; nec diu erat cum hic,
quippe qui Ennio poetae adsensus observarit

simia quam similis, turpissima bestia, nobis,

ad hominum studium se contulit, hominum societatem intellegere
enisus est. qua in re hoc primum sibi proposuit, ut affectuum
vinculorumque indolem qua nos homines inter nos coniungimur non
quidem interclusam et secretam intellegere conetur sed sic ut cum
universa rerum natura cohaereat. hoc enim sibi persuasum habet, hoc
ceteris persuadere studet: ea quae extra nos sunt, terram silvas
animalia, a nobis adfecta mutari, nos autem in vicem adeo ab externis
formari ut si mutantur nos necessario immutemur. itaque hoc magis
libet proclamare: Homo sum, omnino nil a me alienum puto.

Praesento virum in rerum natura scrutanda oculatissimum, in
explicanda ingeniosissimum, Robertum Hinde, Excellentissimi Ordinis
Imperi Britannici Commendatorem, Societatis Regiae Sodalem, Collegi
de Balliolo Socium honoris causa creatum, ut admittatur
honoris causa ad gradum Doctoris in Scientia.

Admission by the Chancellor

Arcanorum indagator sollertissime, qui cetera animalia observando nos
nobis explicavisti, quique in Academia nobiscum coniunctissima
Collegio amplissimo praesedisti, ego auctoritate mea et totius
Universitatis admitto te ad gradum Doctoris in Scientia honoris
causa
.

Paraphrase

The old man in Terence's comedy said `I am a man: I think nothing
that is human is alien to me', and that utterance has won him high
praise for his humanity. But we should not be carried away by that
piece of theatrical rhetoric and assume that in order to understand
mankind we need not go beyond the observation of human beings. We
could take a tip from Aesop's fables, where the animals are endowed
with human speech and behaviour, for the sake of the human morals to
be drawn from them; although those stories seem more suitable for
grandmothers to tell to children. We can also learn from Professor
Hinde, who has observed the behaviour of animals and birds and used
his observations to shed light on the mind and behaviour of our own
species; and who has done so in a genuinely scientific way, as one of
the founders of the new science of ethology. He has subjected the
behaviour of birds to closer scrutiny than any of the augurs of
ancient Rome: for scientific purposes, not to foretell the future. He
went on to study apes, and the nature of the attachment between
parent and child. Soon he turned to the study of our own species,
observing with the poet Ennius that there is a disconcerting
resemblance between apes and us. The thrust of his work has been to
study human affections and the links of human society, not as
isolated phenomena, but as intelligible parts of nature as a whole.
He is a convinced proponent of the view that the external environment
is affected by us, and that equally we are affected by it, changing
as it is altered. Thus we see that really what we should proclaim is
`I am human: I think that nothing at all is alien to me'.

I present a scientist who is most perceptive in observation of the
natural world and also most ingenious in explaining it, Robert Hinde,
CBE, FRS, Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, for admission to the
honorary degree of Doctor of Science.

Admission by the Chancellor

Most talented investigator of nature's secrets, by your observation
of other species you have advanced our understanding of our own. You
have also found time to be the head of a great college in our sister
university. Acting on my own authority and that of the whole
University, I admit you to the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.


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<br /> Oxford University Gazette: Encaenia 1998 (supplement)

Oxford University Gazette

Encaenia 1998: Speeches by the Public Orator

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 traditional purpose of the Creweian Oration is the commemoration
of our Founders and Benefactors. It used to be the custom to recall
notable benefactions of the past, very often starting with the
mythical largesse of King Alfred; an Orator in the nineteenth century
remarks, rather defensively, that `no one of the Creweian orators
whose speeches it has been thought worth while to preserve'—an
interesting qualification—`ever seems to have hesitated to
accord to King Alfred the title of founder of the University'. He
quotes the chronicler William of Malmesbury as saying that King
Alfred gave one third of all his revenue to the University, which in
his time had 30,000 scholars. Golden days, with no hint of haggling
over the college fee! But in this less credulous age we prefer to
stick to recent times and to benefactions which are real.

It has also been the custom to use the Oration as a parish magazine,
which commemorates notable events of the past year in the University:
arrivals, appointments, promotions, and deaths. Neither of these
functions is without its difficulties. Of parochial news there is
potentially no end, and our benefactors are many and munificent. To
list them all would weary even the hundred tongues and iron voice
which the poet Virgil wished for himself, not to mention the patience
of the audience seated in a building which could take as its motto `I
bring you nought for your comfort'; yet here, if anywhere, selection
is invidious, and we are grateful to all those who support us.

We are still, alas, much engrossed by questions of money. The days
are distant when academics dwelt in an ivory tower, and neither the
Development Office nor the Buildings Committee has any plans to
construct one. The long and excruciating struggle over the ending of
the college fee held the attention of the nation and produced a
notable debate in the House of Lords. Peers with an Oxford connection
spoke well and cogently, you yourself, Sir, worthily to the fore; but
in the event a saving of thirty-five million pounds was thought well
worth the risk of doing serious damage to the character of two of the
nation's leading Universities. An unobtrusive change in the tax
regulations which abolishes the repayment of dividend tax credits,
deftly introduced in the Budget to general incomprehension, will
cause the colleges another severe financial loss. It is thus with
even keener gratitude than usual that we greet the generosity of our
benefactors.

It is heartening news that the University's research income from
research councils, industry, and government, was this year
£107,000,000. Some of us are old enough to remember when that
was a very great deal of money indeed; and even now it is impressive.
And in fund-raising the Chancellor's Court of Benefactors continues
to play an important part; it is gratifying to see that this year
there are eleven new members.

A list of the names of our recent benefactors is printed in the
programme of this ceremony. I can single out a few for special
mention. The Norman Collison Foundation is giving a substantial
benefaction to endow a Chair and give other kinds of support to
orthopaedic research at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedic
Surgery. The Drue Heinz Trust is making a substantial grant to the
Oxford American Institute, which will endow the postdoctoral
programme and make it possible for the Institute to enjoy the
participation of distinguished Americans. The Institute is also
receiving generous benefactions from two Directors of the Wisconsin
Central Transportation Corporation, Mr Edward A. Burkhardt and Ms
Cindy McLachlan. Altogether the Oxford American Institute has
collected £10,000,000. The Paul G.Allen Virtual Education
Foundation is giving a generous grant to support course development
in the Technology Assisted Lifelong Learning Programme at the
Department for Continuing Education.

The Bodleian Library reports a lively and rewarding year. The Old
Bodleian Development Project will transform the Library in three
years from September 1998, exterminating (for instance) the death
watch beetles which now hold their destructive and funereal revels in
the roof of Duke Humfrey's Library: the Good Duke Humfrey, most
memorable of all Founders and Benefactors, `perhaps educated at
Balliol College', as we read in the DNB, and well
deserving mention in any Creweian Oration. All is to be ready in time
for the 400th anniversary of the refounding of the Library by Sir
Thomas Bodley, himself hardly less memorable, in 2002. Important
benefactors include the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Pilgrim
Trust, the Rayne Foundation, the Rhodes Trust, and the Wolfson
Foundation.

The Lower Reading Room of the Radcliffe Camera, the S.T.Lee Reading
Room, is to be re-equipped and fitted with the very latest
technology, thanks to a generous grant from the Radcliffe Trust.
There is progress to report also on the Bodleian Incunabula project,
which will produce a definitive catalogue, expected to fill five
volumes, of the 6,500 items in the Library's possession which were
printed before the year 1500. A generous grant has been received for
this work from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation of New York. The
late Miss Cynthia Mary Perrins left the Bodleian the residue of her
estate, and the late Canon John Kelly left seven paintings, to be
sold on behalf of the Library.

The Museum of the History of Science has had substantial gifts from
the Wolfson Foundation and the Pilgrim Trust, for the redevelopment
fund; the work will be in partnership with the Heritage Lottery. The
Ashmolean is to have a fine new gallery for Chinese paintings, thanks
to handsome benefactions by the Christensen Foundation and an
anonymous benefactor; and it has received a large sum from the
Heritage Lottery Fund towards the cost of a new gallery for art of
the twentieth century. All Orators take a special interest in the
Bate Collection of old instruments. This year, it is good to hear, it
has acquired an alto sax by none other than Adolph Sax himself. To
all those whom I have mentioned, and to many other loving friends and
benefactors, we offer our most sincere thanks.

As for the parish magazine and the glittering parade of our
promotions and distinctions, a Milky Way in which the mind,
enraptured, loves to lose itself, it must be confessed that those in
the audience who are seriously interested already know all about
them. It would be absurd, in a way, to pass in silence over the
installation of a new Vice-Chancellor. If any of our acts is
important, that must be. But who is there in this astute and well
informed company to whom it will come as news that early last October
we installed the Master of Balliol? Yes, eight months ago the golden
chains of that exalted drudgery were fastened on Dr Colin Lucas, and
he wears them yet; golden chains, and also golden opinions; while
even the most envious of us reflect, as we contemplate his onerous
elevation at this crisis of our affairs, that at least it isn't we
who have to go through it.

A new Vice-Chancellor, and a new Vice-Chancellor's Secretary. An era
closed with the departure of Miss Anne Smallwood, Secretary to no
fewer than eight Vice-Chancellors. Seven of them are still alive and
attended the ceremony, a festive occasion for the University, at
which she received an honorary M.A. Her successor is Mrs Alison
Miles, who comes with the Vice-Chancellor from Balliol. A new Vice-
Chancellor, and a new Registrar. Dr A.J.Dorey, Registrar for almost
twenty years, is another of those familiar and benevolent landmarks
whose disappearance is hard to imagine; as if one went into Radcliffe
Square, missed the Camera, and was told that it had left Oxford and
was spending its time sailing. His merits have been so very recently
proclaimed in the classical tongue that I shall not dilute that
recital in the vernacular.

His successor is Mr David Holmes, Registrar and Secretary of the
University of Birmingham; a Merton man, which itself is virtually a
guarantee of respectability; and (to silence any doubters) as an
undergraduate in 1968 he won the Chancellor's Prize for Latin Prose.
The Orator feels like Bertie Wooster when, in the scaly setting of
the prize-giving at Market Snodsbury Grammar School, a boy was called
up to receive the prize which he, like Bertie before him, had won:
the prize for scripture knowledge. In his own words, One of us, I
mean to say! It is a sad reflection that in that happier period Mr
Holmes got to recite part of his composition at Encaenia: one of the
prize winning junior members whose fresh young voices used to vary
its monotony. I hear it rumoured that the University will next year
turn its godlike mind, godlike not least in that it moves in a
mysterious way, to the question of restoring to this greying occasion
some younger presences.

Meanwhile, a few random items may attest at least the continued
existence and activity in the University of students. It is
impossible to give an adequate impression of the range of interesting
things that go on here at undergraduate and graduate level. This year
I have dipped into the list of the prizes which are annually offered
for competition: all this is happening, and much, much more. The
number of the Gazette which lists the University Prizes
is a mine of material for the day-dreamer. We might, had we but world
enough and time, enter for the Nubar Pasha Armenian Prize, or the
Nuclear Electric Prize in Mathematical Modelling and Numerical
Analysis, or (one of my personal favourites) the Bapsybanoo
Marchioness of Winchester Prize for a thesis on international
relations. In the intervals of swotting for the Renwick Vickers
Dermatology Prize, we might hope to pick up the Egerton Coghill
Landscape Prize for `the best landscape painted in oils by a member
of the University who is reading for any degree, diploma, or
certificate of the University'; our hopes fixed on the St Catherine
of Alexandria Prize for the best performance in Theology Schools, or
the Oxford Cryosystems Prize for a project in condensed matter
physics, we might still have some evenings free to compete for the
Tynan Prize for the best portfolio of theatre reviews by a student.
We might chance our arm at the Chancellor's English Essay (a recent
title: `The Virtues of Forgery'), but we must, of course, wait until
we are M.A.'s to have a shot at the really big money, the Prize for
an English Poem on a Sacred Subject (a recent title: `Thou shalt see
my hinder parts; but my face thou shalt not see'). And there is
always the Vaughan Cornish Bequest, which encourages `postgraduate
students engaged in the advancement of knowledge relating to the
beauty of scenery'.

Countless, too, are the musical, dramatic, and literary events
organised by junior members of the University. This year an opera-
oratorio in Latin and English by Dr John Caldwell on the Passion,
Good Friday, received its first performance, which
involved the choirs of all three Turl colleges and progress through
all three chapels. To some extent at least in contrast, the choir of
New College sang at a tribute concert to Princess Diana, alongside
Sir Cliff Richard and Wet Wet Wet: this last, it seems, not three
ageing Tory grandees but a pop group. Of course, as pop stars grow
richer and richer, and older and older, those two sorts of people
more and more overlap. The artificial hockey pitch, often mentioned
in past Creweian Orations as imminent, receives a timely grant, and
another shunt towards reality, from the Rhodes Trust. Vainly one
tries to extrude the memory that the great aesthete Walter Pater,
taken for a walk (rather unkindly) past a field where Dons were
playing hockey against undergraduates, could utter only the stricken
murmur `Come away; we oughtn't to look'. And that was on real grass.
Meanwhile—a sentence kept permanently on the computer for
transference from year to year, or from decade to decade, and
doubtless to be intoned repeatedly by my successors—the
University is still working, yearning, and accumulating to get its
first SWIMMING POOL. Another constant point in a changing world is
that once again Oriel were Head of the River.

A team from Magdalen has won University Challenge for
the second time; its captain is quoted as saying, with engaging
immodesty, or perhaps modesty, `That has put Magdalen on the map!'
Well, I suppose it had to happen some time. To prevent junior members
from killing themselves by jumping from it, Magdalen Bridge was, with
enormous hoopla, closed on May morning. The Provost and Fellows of
Oriel, faced with their most difficult decision of the year, have
again ruled that, for undergraduates entering for the Eugene Lee-
Hamilton Prize for a Petrarchan Sonnet, `Enjambment between the
eighth and ninth lines will be permitted'. One hears hair raising
accounts of the stormy college meetings at which, year by year, that
thorniest of questions is fought out.

One event which did not after all take place this year was the
conferring of an degree by diploma on President V&aactue;clav Havel
of the Czech Republic. Illness prevented him from coming to Oxford.
We hope that a day will be found when he will be able to come; his
career with its injustices, sufferings, and triumphs, went splendidly
into Latin. Mrs Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights,
and honoured by the University while she was President of Ireland,
did come, and delivered the Romanes Lecture; an appreciative audience
heard her powerful plea for stronger action to defend human rights in
the world. President Mandela also came and addressed a large audience
in this Theatre on the way forward for South Africa.

A new centre for supercomputing was brought into activity, offering
fantastic prospects for research. The opening ceremony was
immediately followed by a talk by Professor Denis Noble entitled `How
to give a computer a heart attack'; so these things do have hearts;
and perhaps (who knows?) emotions. But stiil it came as a surprise to
read that the supercomputer `was turned on by the Vice-Chancellor'.
Its name, by the way, is Oscar. Dr Lucas' appeal, we are delighted to
see, is international: last Saturday he received a chaste salute from
HE the French Ambassador, who presented him with the insignia of a
Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur.

Meanwhile, in other parts of the forest, the Department of
Astrophysics is sending a spectrometer to Saturn; two Departments are
collaborating on chronic pelvic pain; and in the Department of Plant
Sciences research is afoot into the respiration of potatoes. And the
Christ Church Picture Gallery is mounting an exhibition with the
title `Christ Church as Wonderland'. It is indeed tempting to
identify among the denizens of that marvellous place the White
Rabbit, the Red Queen, and the Old Sheep; but sometimes, surely,
temptation must be resisted.

Our relations with the City of Oxford were prominently in the news
this year. In a ceremony on the thirteenth of September the
University received the freedom of the City; a great improvement on
the days when the townspeople massacred the scholars, and the
University got the Pope to impose on the City penalties and
humiliations which long survived the Reformation. To echo the suaver
utterance of the Vice-Chancellor, relations between City and
University have not always been harmonious. It is sadly still the
case that the University views with alarm, and continues to oppose,
the City's plans for closing the High Street to traffic, without
controlling the traffic through the Science Area. Among the City's
grounds for conferring the honour was that the University is an
important local employer. Gone, however, are the days when it used to
be said of Oxford: `There's the young gentlemen; and there's them as
lives off the young gentlemen; and there's them as lives off them as
lives off the young gentlemen'. The Dons and the townspeople fell
respectively into the second and the third of those categories.

Another memorable City ceremony was that of public mourning in the
Town Hall for the late Princess Diana. Sir Richard Southwood
represented the University on an occasion at which many of the
schools and other organizations of Oxford gave public expression to
their sorrow, official and personal. A rather different career was
recalled when we held a service in St. Mary's to mark the centenary
of the death of Mr Gladstone. It did not, of course, include any
Romish prayers for the dead.

There were honours, too, for the living. There was a Life Peerage for
Sir Patrick Neill, lately Warden of All Souls and Vice-Chancellor of
the University; he becomes Chairman of the Nolan Committee on
Standards in Public Life. Already he has made his mark on Formula One
motor racing. Sir Robin Butler, lately Cabinet Secretary and Head of
the Civil Service, who has succeeded Professor John Albery as Master
of University College, has also been raised to the Peerage. General
satisfaction greeted the knighthood conferred on Dr Peter North,
Principal of Jesus, presiding genius of the North Report, and Vice-
Chancellor in a very difficult time, `for public services and
services to international law'. A knighthood was also conferred on Dr
Peter Williams, Chairman of Isis Innovation, marking the success of
the University's technology transfer company. There were four
recipients of the CBE: Professor Vernon Bogdanor, Dr John Muir Gray,
Dr Schuyler Jones, and Professor Denis Noble; while Dr Derek Hopwood
received an OBE, and Dr Brenda Boardman an MBE. Congratulations to
them all.

Honours of a more purely academic sort were not few. Inside the
University 122 persons applied for and received (but how many applied
and did not receive?) the title of Professor or Reader in the second
round of Recognition of Distinction. The curious observed some
asymmetries. Thus it is remarkable that three large scientific
faculties produced between them 58 promotions: 12 in Biological
Sciences, 27 in Clinical Medicine, and 19 in Physical Sciences; while
by contrast four large arts faculties can point only to 6: 2 in
English Language and Literature, 1 in Law, 1 in Literae Humaniores,
and 2 in Modern History. One possible inference, that Oxford
scientists are roughly ten times as distinguished as their colleagues
in the arts, perhaps does not command universal acceptance; nor is it
quite borne out by this year's crop of elections to the Royal Society
and the British Academy. We salute this time four new Fellows of the
Royal Society: Professor Roger Cashmore, Professor David Clarke,
Professor Raymond Dwek, and Dr Robert Thomas. And eight new Fellows
of the British Academy: Professor Vernon Bogdanor, Professor John
Kay, Professor Basil Markesinis, Dr John Muellbauer, Professor
Anthony Nuttall, Professor Nigel Palmer, Professor Alfred Stepan, and
Sir David Cox, formerly Warden of Nuffield, who becomes an Honorary
FBA. Perhaps what is more conspicuous in our scientific colleagues is
less the possession of distinction than the desire that its
possession should be recognised by others. Fame, we know, is the spur
that the clear spirit doth raise; it seems that it does so with much
more imperious jab in a laboratory than in a library. It is no less
pleasing that Mr Stephen Farthing, Master of the Ruskin School, was
elected to the Royal Academy.

Not exactly an academic honour, perhaps, but it still seems worth
mention that one of your predecessors, Sir, as Chancellor of the
University, William Herbert, third Earl of Pembroke, was proclaimed
(by Miss Katherine Duncan-Jones of Somerville) as the object of the
passion expressed in Shakespeare's Sonnets, surprisingly few of which
are about a Dark Lady. It is true that the period of his Lordship's
life when he attracted the roving eye of the Bard was over by the
time he became Chancellor. Certainly his statue in the Bodleian
courtyard, a portly figure in full armour, is not that of a Ganymede.

Last year was a bumper one for new Heads of House. This year the rate
of turn-over is much less hectic. I was able last year to speak of
the succession at Green College, and I have already had occasion to
mention the change at University College. This year Sir David Rowland
returns to Oxford, following the late Michael von Clemm as President
of Templeton. He has been Chairman of Lloyd's, and he is remembered
with warmth in Oxford as a prominent and successful figure in the
University's fund raising. The Master of Campion Hall, The Revd Dr
Joseph Munitiz, retires and is succeeded by The Revd Dr Gerard J.
Hughes, lately Vice-Principal of Heythrop College. We also find
ourselves, with regret, saying Goodbye to Sir Stephen Tumim,
Principal since 1996 of St Edmund Hall, the name of whose successor
has not yet been announced.

Notable recognition has come the way of our Museums. Four of them
figure on the list, drawn up by the Museums and Galleries Commission,
of 26 museums of `pre-eminent importance to the national heritage':
they are the Ashmolean, the Pitt Rivers, the Natural History Museum,
and the Museum of the History of Science. We rejoice in this well
earned distinction. Three of these Museums get new Directors this
year. The new Director of the Ashmolean is Dr Christopher Brown,
Chief Curator at the National Gallery. The new Director of the Pitt
Rivers is Dr Michael O'Hanlon, from the British Museum's Dept of
Ethnography. The new Director of the Museum of Natural History is
Professor Keith Thomson, who comes to us from New York and
Pennsylvania.

But what, I hear a rising murmur, of the North Report? What of it,
Sir? What indeed? It addresses, as a central concern, the fact that
everyone in Oxford is now too busy and too oppressed to have time to
think about questions of policy. That is so true, it now emerges,
that we are also too busy to read or think about the Report. The
Gazette, its calm pages sporting an untypically excited
headline, promised `University set for vigorous debate on North
Report'; that turned out, when the debate in Congregation was
actually held, to be very far wide of the mark. There has been little
public debate so far, and surprisingly little discussion in private.
In the Long Vacation, we tell ourselves guiltily, we shall really
turn our minds to it—along with the research we had no time for
in term, and the graduates whose chapters are waiting to be read, and
the challenging new options which we keep introducing in the
undergraduate teaching syllabus, and some activities concerned with
admissions and our relations with the schools, and a spot of fund-
raising, and all those new books—some of them no longer so very
new—which are still unopened on our shelves...

Clearly, we are reluctant to think about the North Report. In part
that is because our morale is generally not high; there is a sense
that changes are in any case unavoidable, even when do not believe
them to be either desirable or necessary; even when we believe that
they will damage what we most value about the University. Last year
you heard me quote the poet Tennyson on new layers of
administration—Tiers, idle tiers, I know not what they mean.
That anxiety has not gone away. Let us hope that in the process of
ejection baby and bath water will be kept sharply distinct; and that
we shall not lose sight of two cardinal facts about Oxford.

The first is that we are a great teaching institution, famous and
successful at the teaching of the young, which does not mean only the
training of potential future academics; and the second, that the
democratic style of our procedures is very precious. People work
harder, as a rule, and in better spirits, when they feel in control
of their own destiny, than when they just feel like employees. In
this century centralization has been tried so often and so hopefully,
and the list of its triumphs is so sadly short. It is perhaps
unfortunate that as central government, of whatever complexion,
privatises and hives off more and more areas which it once
controlled, education remains one of the dwindling few in which its
natural inclination to know best can be exercised with undiminished
panache.

Centralization of structure, and constant interference from the
centre, has the aesthetic appeal of uniformity, a lunar bureaucratic
beauty which endears it to theorists and reformers, who are at heart
romantics one and all; but we have learned that its loveliness is
that of a wraith, a spectre, a Lorelei, at home (perhaps) in the
Platonic world of the ideal, but too impractical (certainly) for this
imperfect world of pragmatic reality. Small units like Oxford
colleges, and the energies of people working in the realm of freedom
rather than in the realm of constraint: these things may lack the
plausible allure of perfect system and orderliness; they may not
possess that bleak and aseptic beauty which warms the theorist's
heart; but they do suit the human animal, and they do work better.
Let us hope that we shall not yield too hastily to the arid glamour
of some metallic and soulless simulacrum of the Oxford we love: which
has done, and which continues to do, not so badly.

From anxieties about the future let us turn to grateful commemoration
of the past. This year, as every year, the Orator has deaths to
record. Men and women who devoted their lives to the University's
high purposes, scholars and teachers, colleagues and friends, they
have suffered the common fate that awaits all scholarship, however
deep, and all companionship, however dear. Each of them is mourned by
some of us here present, and all alike are mourned by the University,
our kindly mother. I record the names of Isaiah Berlin, President of
Wolfson; Reginald Burton, Fellow of Oriel; Michael von Clemm,
President of Templeton; Theodora Cooper, Fellow of St Hugh's; Norma
Dalrymple-Champneys, Fellow of Somerville; Charles Dowsett, Fellow of
Pembroke; George Forrest, Fellow of New College; Patrick Gardiner,
Fellow of Magdalen; Cecil Grayson, Fellow of Magdalen; John
Jakubovics, Fellow of St Cross; John Kelly, Principal of St Edmund
Hall and Vice-Chancellor of the University; John Kendrew, President
of St John's; Kenneth Kirkwood, Fellow of St Antony's; Mary O'Brien,
Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall; Roger Opie, Fellow of New College; John
Owen, Fellow of Lincoln; William Parry-Jones, Fellow of Linacre;
Leslie Rowse, Fellow of All Souls; John Walker, Fellow of Worcester.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis.


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