Two awarded honorary doctorates
9 April 2010
The University of Sydney will confer two honorary awards today - a Doctor of Letters (honouris causa) to former diplomat, academic and essayist Dr Owen Harries, and an Honorary Fellowship to Dr Dugald McLellan, art historian and former senior tutor at St Paul's College.
Owen Harries is awarded his honoris causa in recognition of his enormous contribution to the intellectual life of Australia and the US for more than half a century. Educated at Oxford University, he held senior academic positions at two leading Australian universities - the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales - before going on to play significant roles in Australian politics and foreign policy.
Dr Harries served as senior adviser to both former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, and former Foreign Minister Andrew Peacock, and was the Australian Ambassador to UNESCO in Paris. For much of his career, Harries has been a major player in policy debates, especially concerning US-Australia relations from the Vietnam War to the Iraq war.
A past regular contributor to many of the world's most influential newspapers including The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, Harries was an editor of Australia's Quadrant magazine, and founded the Washington DC-based foreign policy quarterly The National Interest which he also edited from 1985 to 2001. It was during this time he was described by The Bulletin as "probably the most famous Australian in Washington".
Harries was the presenter of the ABC's 2003 Boyer Lectures where he was critical of Australia's alliance with the US in the Iraq war. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy.
Professor Alan Dupont, the Michael Hintze Chair of International Security at the University of Sydney's Centre for International Security Studies paid tribute to Harries describing him as a giant in his field.
"Owen Harries has towered, like a colossus, over the intellectual landscape of Australian foreign policy and international relations for over half a century, first as a young academic at the University of Sydney, and subsequently in a number of prominent roles, including as founding editor of the highly influential US foreign policy journal The National Interest. His penetrating analysis, elegant writing style and prodigious knowledge of international relations have inspired generations of policy makers and academics and his distinguished career is in the finest tradition of the scholar turned public intellectual," Professor Dupont said.
Dr Dugald McLellan receives his Honorary Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to university life as senior tutor at St Pauls College, supporting the University's interests and welfare and promoting its academic life from 1999 to 2010. During Dr McLellan's period of office at St Paul's he helped to develop the college as a centre of intellectual activity, and five of St Paul's students were awarded Rhodes Scholarships under his tutelage.
"Dugald has had a profound effect on the lives of many hundreds of students with his affability, his deep commitment to individual needs and his continuous presence as something of a presiding genius within the college community," said Professor Alan Atkinson, now Senior Tutor at St Paul's College.
"He will be remembered with great affection and respect by those who have been students in his time. His impact among us has been broad and deep."
Dr McLellan is also a scholar of the Italian Renaissance with a considerable reputation both in Australia and overseas, and he has published extensively on Italian art, as well as teaching art history and theory at both the University of Sydney and University of Melbourne.
Dr McLellan is now an Honorary Research Associate and Occasional Lecturer in the University of Sydney's Department of Italian Studies. He is currently completing a major monograph on the Last Judgement fresco cycle of Luca Signorelli in the Duomo of Orvieto, as well as being involved in two projects relating to the investigation and analysis of Dante's Inferno and key early Divine Comedy manuscripts.
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