Kenneth Reed Postgraduate Research Scholarship in English

5 September, 2016

Early in November 2015 the Department of English thanked Kenneth Reed for his generosity in setting up the Kenneth Reed Postgraduate Research Scholarship in English. Kenneth has been a noted philanthropist outside of academia over many years, especially to the arts.

Early in November 2015 the Department of English thanked Kenneth Reed for his generosity in setting up the Kenneth Reed Postgraduate Research Scholarship in English. Kenneth has been a noted philanthropist outside of academia over many years, especially to the arts, and he has also donated substantial amounts to the University of Sydney, where he took out a Bachelor of Arts in 1957 and Bachelor of Laws in 1960. Law provided him with a successful career, but in 2013, when his gift of $4.5 million to the Faculty of Arts and Humanities was announced, he remarked that “my fondest memories were when I was doing English. A degree in English or the arts equips you for any other field. People need a good basis and understanding of their own language and the history and literature of their own language”. Kenneth’s substantial gift to the Department takes those positive sentiments far further in very practical and beneficial terms. Kenneth donated $500,000 towards a postgraduate scholarship in perpetuity, with a further $4 million bequest for postdoctoral scholarships. He also gave a gift-in-kind of 17th century Dutch Masters to the University’s art collection, with an extra $1 million set aside for their upkeep.

We are pleased to announce that Jonathan Dunk is the inaugural recipient of the Kenneth Reed Postgraduate Research Scholarship in English. The scholarship has had an immediate benefit, allowing Jonathan to transfer from a part-time PhD to full-time research. At the intellectual level, the firm financial base the scholarship provides greatly improves his ability to study intensely, and thereby finish his thesis in a timely manner. Jonathan’s work traces literary representations of the explorer, from Odysseus through Crusoe to Conrad, Melville, White, and Coetzee. For a young scholar launching into a full-time PhD, who is also the first Kenneth Reed Postgraduate Research Scholar, the topic could hardly be more apt.

At a lunch on 10 November in the Darlington Centre, Jonathan was able to thank Kenneth Reed in person for supporting his studies.

The Department of English applauds Kenneth Reed for his generosity in making possible not only Jonathan Dunk’s intellectual journey, but also that of the best young researchers of the future. They and the Department will continue to benefit from Kenneth’s marvellous gesture.
Words by Associate Professor Peter Marks