The ongoing contribution of Emeritus Professor Bob Milns, AM, to the study of Ancient History and Classics will be recognised this week with an endowment fund established in his name.
Proposed by the Friends of Antiquity – a sub group of the UQ Alumni Association – and supported by the University of Queensland Senate and the Faculty of Arts, the fund will promote teaching and learning in the disciplines Professor Milns led for 34 years.
Chair of the fund committee and former UQ academic Dr Dorothy Watts said the initiative was a fitting honour for Professor Milns.
“His influence in the teaching of Ancient History throughout Queensland has been immense - I think I could say that virtually every trained teacher of Ancient History in this state has been taught by him,” she said.
Dr Watts said donations from graduates and members of the community would be used to support a number of school projects.
“The first aim is, at least once every two years, to use the interest to bring an eminent scholar in Classics or Ancient History to give lectures, seminars or workshops to stimulate discussion and research.
“The second is to give financial assistance to the R D Milns Antiquities Museum for the purchase of artefacts, or for such projects as completion of the museum catalogue, and the production of CD-ROMs covering the collection.
“The long term aim is to fund an academic position in Classics and Ancient History.”
Classics and Ancient History have been taught for almost 100 years at UQ, and are disciplines within one of the schools of the Faculty of Arts.
“It is not hard to justify the study of these disciplines on the basis of attractive courses - myths and legends, wars and empires, larger-than-life characters dominating the stage, exotic religions, inspiring art and architecture,” Dr Watts said.
“The legacy of the ancient world continues to be evident in so much of the modern world, and is not something confined to museums or dusty library shelves.”
UQ Chancellor Sir Llew Edwards, AC, will launch the fund on Friday, May 11 at the UQ Centre, with Professor Milns presenting a special lecture entitled “Alexander the Great and the Heroic Ideal”.