Honorary Degrees 2015

Posted on: 26 June 2015

The renowned  painter Camille Souter, poet, Grigory Kruzhkov, Singaporean diplomat and businessman, Stanley Quek  and leading US-based optical physicist, Margaret Murnane were conferred  with honorary degrees in Trinity College today


Painter, Camille Souter was conferred with a Doctor in Letters (Litt.D). One of the most revered living artists in Ireland she was elected Saoi of Aosdána in 2009, the first woman painter, and only the second woman ever to achieve this rare honour.  She is also an honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy. Souter’s work is  included in modules on Modernist Irish art at   Trinity’s Department of History of Art and Architecture and Trinity Irish Art Research Centre  at both undergraduate and post-graduate level. Any comprehensive collection of Irish modern art would be incomplete without her inclusion.  She has worked independently from her studio home in Achill, Co Mayo since 1956.   She is primarily interested in articulating the reality of her experience of the world around her. Souter is admired not just for her exceptional creativity but also for her uncompromising commitment to her vision. There are five works by Camille Souter in the Trinity College Art Collection which demonstrate something of her unique approach both to subject matter and to artistic processes, and of her challenging and courageous contribution to Modernism in Ireland. This collection has been on public display in the main concourse of the Arts Building, this week. They are: Thinking of Years Back Circus (1961); On Their Way (1962);The Bog, Early Morning (1963); Tent to Himself (1964) and Poolbeg Power Station (1975).

Poet, Grigory Kruzhkov was conferred with a Doctor in Letters (Litt.D). A man of extraordinary talents across a range of disciplines: poet, translator, essayist and literary historian. He currently teaches English and American literature at the Moscow State University for the Humanities. He has published several collections of poetry. Among his numerous translations are selections of Wyatt, Donne, Keats, Tennyson, Lear, Carroll, Yeats, Joyce, Frost, Stevens and Heaney. His awards include the State Prize of the Russian Federation and the Bunin Prize. Professor Kruzhkov has also written many children’s books and holds an honorary diploma from the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). He was one of six collaborators, translators and promoters nominated by Seamus Heaney to join him in the launch of the Centre for Literary Translation in April 2013. His talents have been  deployed  with great  integrity  to positioning  Irish culture  on the world stage and to making accessible  to Russian readership the  works of some  of our major  poets.

A  medical graduate of Trinity,  Dr Stanley Quek  was conferred with a Doctor in Laws (LL.D). For over thirty years, Dr Quek has assisted Irish universities in developing collaborations and recruiting students from Singapore to study Medicine and Dentistry in Ireland.  This has been of great benefit to the whole island of Ireland, not just Trinity, as it has enabled all medical schools to strengthen links in Asia.   He is founder and Executive Chairman of Region Development Pte Ltd and is widely known as a diplomat, developer and designer with business interests in Singapore, Australia and the UK.  He served as Ireland’s Honorary Consul General in Singapore from 1994-2000 and is Chair of the Singapore Ireland Fund. He has made a considerable contribution to medical education in Singapore and has been instrumental in organising recruitment of Singaporean students to Irish universities.  He was key to the success of the 2011 Tercentenary of the School of Medicine and helped realise the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute.

Irish physicist, Margaret Murnane,  Distinguished Professor at the University of Colorado was conferred with a Doctor in Science (Sc.D).  She is one of the leading optical physicists of her generation. Her ground-breaking work has transformed the field of ultrafast laser and x-ray science, from fundamental research to start-up formation. Her work as focused on the development of lasers which can operate at the fundamental limits of speed and stability. She designed the first laser able to pulse in the low trillionths of a second range. She has also developed a table top x-ray laser using a very short laser pulses to generate coherent beams of x-rays. She has won many prizes for her pioneering work, including the RDS Boyle Medal in 2011 in Ireland. She has been an icon for female physicists all over the world. Professor Murnane has served as an external reviewer for the School of Physics and during her visits to Trinity has provided encouragement to Trinity’s female physicists.

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