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Published on:
Monday 29 April 2024
College & Community

Wolfson announces establishment of Ellen Rice Fund

Thanks to a major gift, Wolfson is delighted to announce the establishment of the Ellen Rice Fund to support graduate students and Junior Research Fellows at the College working on the ancient world.

The fund is named in memory of Dr Ellen Rice, whose association with Wolfson began in October 1978 when she arrived at the College as a Junior Research Fellow. A classicist specialising in the culture and history of ancient Greece, Rome and Ptolemaic Egypt, Ellen served Wolfson in a wide variety of roles during her time at the College: as Senior Research Fellow and member of Governing Body from 1988 to 2020, as Domestic Bursar from 1994 to 2004, as Dean of Degrees, Fellow Librarian, Fellow Archivist, and finally as Emeritus Fellow from 2020 to 2023.

The fund was established in Ellen’s honour following her untimely passing in April 2023, thanks to a generous donation by her husband, Professor Jim Kennedy (GBF, 1970–2003; EF, 2003–), also Emeritus Fellow of the College. The fund will permanently endow the annual Ellen Rice Awards for graduate students and Junior Research Fellows of the College, to support fieldwork, museum or library study and conference attendance related to the study of the history and archaeology of Greece, Rome, and Ptolemaic Egypt.

“The new fund will have a tremendous impact,” said Tim Hitchens, President of the College. “The additional support will be invaluable to our students and junior fellows and will further strengthen Wolfson’s place at the forefront of Ancient World studies – a field to which Ellen contributed so much.”

Among her many other College commitments, for many years Ellen had responsibility for Wolfson’s Day Nursery. In addition to the named fund, Ellen’s long and devoted service to Wolfson has also been memorialised with a commemorative tree, planted opposite the Nursery entrance. The planting took place in late 2023, when Ellen’s husband and friends were joined by more than thirty members of our community at an event to honour her incredible contribution to the life and work of the College. The tree is a sweetgum, liquidambar styraciflua, and was planted by current nursery children (with help from more senior members of the College).