New Chair in Classics for Melbourne

A new Chair of Classics has been established at the University of Melbourne following a significant donation given by Melbourne alumni Mrs Elizabeth and Professor James Tatoulis AM.

Mrs Elizabeth and Professor James Tatoulis AMThe 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,” said Mrs Tatoulis.

“In short, it forms the basis of western civilisation.”

“A general, humanist education encompasses much of what it is to be human and wonderfully compliments a vocational education,” Professor Tatoulis said.

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.

Classics is a cornerstone of the scholarship and history of the University said Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) Associate Professor Parshia Lee-Stecum.

“Classics has been taught at the University of Melbourne since the University first opened for teaching in 1855,” he said.

“We’ve seen a growing interest in Classical scholarship in Australia in recent years. 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. This Chair offers wonderful benefits to our students and furthers the study of Classics in Australia.”

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.

“Education and knowledge have the power to enrich and transform lives, allowing people to transcend social, political and cultural barriers,” Professor Tatoulis said.

Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourne is the University’s largest-ever fundraising initiative, aiming to raise $1 billion by 2021 to advance the University’s teaching and learning, research and engagement aims.