Sir Kenneth James Dover, FRSE, FBA (11 March 1920 – 7 March 2010) was a distinguished British Classical scholar and academic, who was head of an Oxford college and from 1981 until his retirement in December 2005 was Chancellor of the University of St Andrews.
Kenneth Dover was born in London, the only child of Percy Dover and Dorothy Healey. He was educated at St Paul's School and Balliol College, Oxford. He served with the Royal Artillery during the Second World War and was mentioned in dispatches for his service in Italy.
After military service, Dover returned to Oxford and became Fellow and tutor at his old college in 1948. In 1955, Dover was appointed Professor of Greek at the University of St Andrews, and was twice Dean of the university's Faculty of Arts during his twenty-one years there.
He was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1975. Dover received a knighthood two years later for services to Greek scholarship. In 1976, Sir Kenneth became President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, a post he held for ten years. During this tenure a fellow of the College, Trevor Henry Aston (1925–1985), who suffered from manic depression, committed suicide with pills and alcohol. In Marginal Comment, his autobiography, Dover wrote: "it was clear to me by now that Trevor and the college must somehow be separated. My problem was one which I feel compelled to define with brutal candour: how to kill him without getting into trouble...I had no qualms about causing the death of a fellow from whose nonexistence the college would benefit, but I balked at the prospect of misleading a coroner's jury...consulting a lawyer to see if [I] would be legally at risk if [I] ignored a suicide call.
In 1978, he was elected to the presidency of the British Academy, of which he had been a Fellow since 1966, and served for a term of three years. During the 1980s, he also held positions at Cornell University and Stanford University.
Dover returned to St Andrews as the university's Chancellor in 1981. He was the first Chancellor in the University's history to be neither a peer nor an archbishop. Dover stepped down from the position after 25 years of service, effective from 31 December 2005.
Dover's scholarly works included Greek Word Order (1960), Aristophanic Comedy (1972), Greek Popular Morality in the Time of Plato and Aristotle (1974), Greek Homosexuality (1978), and The Greeks and their Legacy (1989).
Dover resided in St Andrews, Fife, where he and his family have had a home since around 1960. He married Audrey Latimer in March 1947; Lady Dover died in December 2009 after 62 years of marriage. Dover died on 7 March 2010, survived by a son and daughter.
Bernard Edward Fergusson, Brigadier The Lord Ballantrae
|Chancellor of the University of St Andrews
Sir Menzies Campbell