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Hackett Centenary Lectures

Posted on 12/11/2010
Hackett-lecture

The speakers

A group of distinguished speakers took part in an event to mark the Centenary of the  birth of former King’s College London Principal General Sir John Hackett GCB, CBE, DSO & Bar, MC at the Strand Campus last night. General Sir John Hackett, one of the most distinguished names of WWII, was Principal of King’s College London from 1968-1975.

The main speaker Lieutenant General David Hurley was appointed to the position of the Vice Chief of the Australian Defence Force on 4 July 2008. Earlier this year Lieutenant General Hurley was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the Australian Defence Force as Chief of Capability Development Group, Chief of Joint Operations and Vice Chief of the Defence Force.

Lieutenant General Hurley spoke about Sir John’s upbringing in Australia and subsequent military career in the UK and gave an account of his gallant leadership; he also discussed his grasp of geopolitics and lasting and enduring legacy for Australian officers.

‘Shan’ Hackett has been described as ‘one of the last of the British intellectual gentleman soldiers.’ The culmination of his military career saw him both as a Nato Commander and Commander-in-chief of the British Army in the Rhine.

Professor Sir Michael Howard gave a warm account of his personal recollections of Sir John in the corridors of Whitehall and how he came to be appointed Principal of King’s.  He highlighted Sir John’s participation in a student march in favour of higher grants in 1973 and his oversight of the construction of the Strand Building and of the Macadam Building. Sir Michael founded the Department of War Studies at King’s and became the country’s first Professor of War Studies in 1963.

Peter Marshall, Emeritus Rhodes Professor of Imperial History at King’s, was a junior lecturer when Sir John was Principal and concluded the proceedings with an overview of his times as Principal and academic. Professor Marshall described Sir John as a ‘remarkable charismatic person with a respect for scholarship and an interest in people,’ and a special concern for students.

Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, Vice-Principal (Strategy & Development), chaired the event.

[Image by David Tett: Dr Patrick Mileham, Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, Lieutenant General David Hurley, Professor Sir Michael Howard and Professor Peter Marshall.]

Notes to Editors
King’s College London

King’s College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (2010 QS international world rankings), The Sunday Times ‘University of the Year 2010/11’ and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King’s has nearly 23,000 students (of whom more than 8,600 are graduate students) from nearly 140 countries, and some 5,500 employees. King’s is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.

King’s has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.

King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres.

King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King’s Health Partners. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org.

Further information
Alex Bevis, Public Relations Department,
Public Relations Department, King's College London
Email: alex.bevis@kcl.ac.uk  Tel: 020 7848 3238

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