Mary Beard: “Classics is a subject that is as much about the future as it is about the past, and we need it now more than ever”Louis Ashworth

Cambridge University academic, Professor Dame Mary Beard, has said that she is “over the moon” that a new teaching fellowship in classics has been established at Newnham College.

The Evening Standard has reported that the fellowship, known officially as the Onassis Classics Fellowship, is funded by a number of sources, including from funds raised by Newnham College and the Faculty of Classics, as well as from alumni donations and a contribution from the Onassis Foundation.

Commenting on the creation of the new teaching post, Professor Mary Beard said: “Classics is a subject that is as much about the future as it is about the past, and we need it now more than ever”, adding that “Newnham has a long tradition of cutting-edge research in classics, combined with a huge impact in public engagement going back to the 19th century”.

She continued, stating: “I am over the moon that this will be able to continue and thank those who have made it possible from the bottom of my heart”.


Mountain View

Mary Beard’s retirement gift to financially support under-represented classicists

Robin Osborne, classics professor and fellow of King’s College, said: “The legacy of Mary Beard and her illustrious predecessors can now be continued thanks to this wonderful donation”.

He added that “the new post will increase the number of established university posts in classics for the first time for many years and allow the faculty to extend its coverage of the subject in new and exciting ways”.

The President of the Onassis Foundation, Anthony S Papadimitriou, said: “We are happy to be supporting the exceptional, internationally acclaimed, and long-standing work being done in classical studies at the University of Cambridge, an institution that has sustained such distinguished professors as Mary Beard and Pat Easterling.”

The esteemed classicist and historian, who has taught at the university for nearly 40 years, and started as an undergraduate at Newnham in 1973, is due to retire next year.