Chair of Classics gift

May 15 / 158

James and Elizabeth Tatoulis
James and Elizabeth Tatoulis


A new Chair of Classics has been established at the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, following a significant donation from alumni Elizabeth and James Tatoulis.


The Elizabeth and James Tatoulis Chair in Classics will support research into ancient worlds, as well as teaching and community engagement.


“The Ancient Greek and Roman world influences our society in philosophy, politics, law, literature, language, culture, architecture, engineering, science and medicine,” Mrs Tatoulis said. “In short, it forms the basis of western civilization.”


The Faculty of Arts is honoured to receive the gift, made through Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourne, and considers the Elizabeth and James Tatoulis Chair in Classics a significant benefit to the national study of Classics and the broader community.


Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) Parshia Lee-Stecum said Classics has been taught at the University of Melbourne since the University first opened for teaching in 1855.


“We’ve seen a growing interest in Classical scholarship in Australia in recent years,” Associate Professor Lee-Stecum said. “Almost all students have the opportunity to explore classical civilisations at high school, and community interest in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds remains high.”


Professor Tatoulis is a cardiothoracic surgeon and Mrs Tatoulis is a passionate advocate of education. Both say their support for the Classics program at the University was motivated by their experiences of how education and an understanding of the classics enriched their lives.


“A general, humanist education encompasses much of what it is to be human and wonderfully complements a vocational education,”Professor Tatoulis said. “Education and knowledge have the power to enrich and transform lives, allowing people to transcend social, political and cultural barriers.” 


Story by Laura Soderlind

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