Provost Patrick Prendergast has today announced the election of new scholars, 14 new fellows, 5 new professorial fellows and 3 new honorary fellows of the university.
The announcement, made shortly after 10am this morning, followed a meeting of the University Board, Trinity’s ruling body on academic affairs.
The announcements are usually made to a crowd gathered in Trinity’s front square as part of the historical Trinity Monday celebrations. However, today the event was live-streamed from the steps of the Public Theatre due to the coronavirus pandemic which has caused the closure of College and the banning of all public gatherings.
Patrick Prendergast congratulated the recipients and commiserated that neither the reception in the provost’s garden, nor the scholars’ dinner would be able to take place due to the pandemic. He added that he hoped the events would be held at the beginning of the next academic year but said that “only time will tell whether that will be possible”.
The 57 scholars come from a variety of disciplines across all three faculties in College.
The number of scholars elected is down from 58 last year, with 73 scholars having been elected in 2018.
Schols is awarded by the College to mainly second year students on the basis of a set of “searching” exams sat after Christmas. Students must achieve an overall first in these exams, to be entitled to “the most prestigious undergraduate award in the country,” of which benefits include free on-campus accommodation and a waiving of all tuition fees for the five year term of the scholarship.
A minority of Schols recipients are known as Foundation Scholars and join the Provost and Fellows to constitute the corporation of the College. As the number of Foundation Scholars cannot exceed seventy, successful students surpassing this number are awarded non-Foundation Scholarship.
In addition, Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, John FitzGerald and Neil Mendoza were awarded Honorary Fellowships in today’s ceremony.
Burnell is an astrophysicist from Northern Ireland who, as a postgraduate student, co-discovered the first radio pulsars in 1967.
FitzGerald is a former head of the macroeconomics and resource economics division and former coordinator of the research programme of macroeconomics of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Dublin.
Mendoza is the current Provost of Oriel College, Oxford.
Meanwhile, 5 new professorial fellows and 14 new fellows were also announced by Prendergast today.
The ceremony marks the first day of Trinity Week, a long established tradition in College.
The Provost wrote to students on Friday, outlining that due to coronavirus “ the majority of the events planned for the week have been cancelled or postponed, I am very pleased to confirm that some key events will be proceeding on Trinity Monday, albeit remotely.”
Among the other remote events due to be held today are a Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at 10.30am in the College Chapel and the Trinity Monday Memorial Discourse will be streamed from the Graduates Memorial Building.