Press Release

Portrait celebrates former Principal

Published on 10 January 2020

The University of Dundee has celebrated the distinguished career of its former Principal with the unveiling of a commemorative portrait.

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The portrait of Sir Pete Downes

The University of Dundee has celebrated the distinguished career of its former Principal with the unveiling of a commemorative portrait.

Professor Sir Pete Downes enjoyed a career at the University spanning 29 years, including a decade as its Principal and Vice-Chancellor.

He returned to the institution on Friday for the unveiling of the official portrait, painted by Angela Reilly, a graduate of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

Professor Downes said, “I hope people who look at it are reminded of somebody who has always been passionate about the University, the staff, students and citizens of Dundee.

“A portrait is the ultimate legacy and so much more personal and revealing than any photograph.

“Angela Reilly paints extraordinarily intimate portraits and I’m incredibly happy with the result.”

Professor Downes retired at the end of 2018 having helped to establish the University of Dundee as one of the UK’s best for student experience and a global leader in life sciences.

One of the country’s leading biochemists, Professor Downes joined the University in 1989, serving as Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Life Sciences before taking up the role of Principal in 2009.

He was awarded the Colworth Medal of the British Biochemical Society in 1987 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1991 and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2009. He was honoured by the Queen with an OBE in 2004 and a Knighthood in 2015.

To mark his distinguished service and retirement, a portrait was commissioned of Professor Downes, as is University tradition.

Artist Angela Reilly said, “From the outset, Professor Downes said that he was keen to show the person, not the position.

“Over four months and three sittings I am proud to have produced this portrait that reflects his love for the University and the city of Dundee.”

Enquiries

Jonathan Watson

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 381489

j.s.watson@dundee.ac.uk

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Public interest