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Secret millionaire academic’s will revives post

The late Douglas MacDowell, former chairman of the Greek department at the University of Glasgow, has left more than £2 million in his will to reinstate the decade-long dormant position.

MacDowell, who died in 2010 at the age of 78, held the position between 1971 and 2001.

According to the Scotsman newspaper on 18 January, MacDowell’s colleagues reported that he was annoyed that the position had been cut as a way of saving money following a merger of the departments of Greek and Latin.

The newspaper also reported that MacDowell built up his assets through financial investments, which included £115,000 of BP shares.

The university said applications for the position would be advertised in the spring and the appointment probably made in September.

“Although the study of Greek has lessened in popularity over the last 40 years or so, we’ve seen a renewed interest in the subject from students in the last few years and the appointment to a new chairman will allow the University to strengthen its excellent reputation for Greek,” said Matthew Fox, a classics researcher at the University of Glasgow, in a statement.

“The call for applications for the chairman will go out far and wide and we’re confident we’ll be able to attract a candidate who will help to develop the teaching and study of Greek at the University in a manner which befits Professor MacDowell’s legacy.”