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Sir Kenneth Dover

Sir Kenneth DoverIt is with great sadness that the University has learned of the death of its former Chancellor, Sir Kenneth Dover, FRSE, FBA.  Sir Kenneth died peacefully yesterday (Sunday 7 March 2010) in hospital a few days short of his 90th birthday.

A distinguished academic, Sir Kenneth was born in London and educated at the city’s St Paul’s School before going on to study at Balliol College, Oxford. After serving with the Royal Artillery during the Second World War and being mentioned in dispatches for his service in Italy, he returned to Oxford and became Fellow and tutor at his old college.

In 1955, he was appointed Professor of Greek at the University of St Andrews and was twice Dean of the University’s Faculty of Arts during his 21 years here.

In 1976, Sir Kenneth became President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, a post he held for 10 years. During the 1980s he held positions at Cornell and Stanford Universities. In 1978, he was elected to the Presidency of the British Academy. He was also elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1975 and received a knighthood two years later for services to Greek scholarship.

Sir Kenneth returned to St Andrews as the University’s Chancellor in 1981 and was the first Chancellor in our long history to be neither a peer nor an archbishop.

He received honorary degrees from the Universities of Oxford, St Andrews, Birmingham, Bristol, London, Durham, Liverpool and Oglethorpe. He was also a foreign member of the American and the Royal Netherlands Academies of Arts and Sciences.

Sir Kenneth’s scholarly works include Greek Word Order (1960), Aristophanic Comedy (1972), Greek Homosexuality (1978) and The Greeks and their Legacy (1989).

While at Oxford he met his wife, Lady Audrey Dover, who died late last year. The couple were engaged in 1946 and married the following Spring by the Oxford registrar, before a second ceremony in the chapel of Balliol College. Sir Kenneth and Lady Audrey celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in March 2007.

Sir Kenneth ended a distinguished academic career when he retired as Chancellor on December 31st 2005 and was succeeded by Sir Menzies Campbell. In 2006, he was honoured by our students when he was made Honorary President of the Students’ Association.

Sir Kenneth commanded both the affection and respect of colleagues and students. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by all those who worked with him.

He is survived by his son Alan, daughter Catherine and grandchildren Beki, Nicholas and Matthew. The University extends its sincere sympathies to each of them.

Sir Kenneth’s funeral will be held on March 26th at 11.45 a.m. at Kirkcaldy Crematorium.

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact Gayle Cook, Senior Communications Manager on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk

Ref:  K Dover 080310

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