Professor Dame Mary Beard said she was “over the moon” that a new fully funded classics teaching post has been created at her college at Cambridge University, continuing her legacy.
The 66-year-old broadcaster and historian, who is a scholar in classics at Newnham College, is due to retire at the end of 2022 after nearly 40 years of teaching at Cambridge.
The new position, known as the Onassis Classics Fellowship, guarantees a permanent position for teaching classical studies at the 150-year-old women’s college.
The position was created following a joint fundraising campaign led by the College and the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge, with donations from alumni, anonymous donors and a ‘big gift’ from the Foundation. Onassis.
The classics are a subject that is as much about the future as it is about the past, and we need them more than ever.
Professor Beard said: “I have been privileged and proud to have been associated with the classics at Cambridge, and Newnham in particular, since I became an undergrad in 1973.
“Classics are a subject that is as much about the future as it is about the past, and we need them more than ever.
“Newnham has a long tradition of cutting edge research into the classics, combined with a huge impact on audience engagement dating back to the 19th century, with classic revolutionary and celebrity Jane Harrison.
“I am delighted that this can continue and I thank those who made it possible from the bottom of my heart.”
Professor Robin Osborne, President of the Cambridge Faculty of Classics, said: “The legacy of Mary Beard and her illustrious predecessors can now continue with this wonderful gift.
“The new post will increase the number of established academic posts in Classics for the first time in many years and allow the faculty to expand its coverage of the subject in new and exciting ways.
“Onassis’s gift not only secures the future of the subject at Newnham, but it will also help the faculty support new teaching at the master’s level.
“The number of MPhil students has doubled from around 30 to over 60 in the span of four years, so it couldn’t come at a better time.”
Anthony S Papadimitriou, President of the Onassis Foundation, said: “We are pleased to support the exceptional, internationally renowned and long-standing work done in classical studies at the University of Cambridge, an institution which has supported professors as well. distinguished as Mary Beard and Pat Easterling.
Professor Beard has previously given Cambridge University a ‘retirement gift’ of £ 80,000 to pay for the £ 10,000 per year living expenses of two classic undergraduates from ethnic minority groups and homes to low income for the duration of their degrees.