The Ambrosian Library in Milan hosted 11 Notre Dame graduate students over spring break, where they inspected and read manuscripts dating back to the fifth century A.D. Through the generosity and expertise of their hosts, the class saw some of the great treasures of the library including the Ambrosian fifth-century bible, the poet Petrarch’s copy of Virgil’s works, and Leonardo d Vinci’s notebooks.
On the final day of his latest six-week excavation season in historic Butrint, Albania, University of Notre Dame Assistant Professor David Hernández says “the face of a goddess appeared.” The four assistants who had a hand in the discovery? Suzanna Pratt, Patrick Conry, Matt Wieck, and Wesley Wood—all undergraduates in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.
Edward Larkin, a biological sciences major from East Lansing, Mich., has been named valedictorian of the 2011 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during Commencement ceremonies May 22 (Sunday) at Notre Dame Stadium. Larkin, who also carries a supplementary major in classical civilization, earned a 4.0 grade point average. He is an active member of the Haiti Working Group at Notre Dame and writes a bi-weekly column for the Observer student newspaper in which he expounds on the intersection of science, technology, and society with a special focus on the cultural and social implications of modern scientific advances.
"Studying in city of Classical importance – such as Rome, Athens, or Cairo – is absolutely essential for a Classics major at Notre Dame or any other university. It brings the history to life and it is essential to gaining a full appreciation for Classical Studies. As a student and as a person, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made."
Responding to continued student demand for graduate-level courses in the languages and cultures at the foundation of Western civilization, Notre Dame is launching a new master’s degree program in classics.
For most Notre Dame students, a typical Friday afternoon in the spring might include a little Frisbee or pick-up basketball, maybe a movie, certainly dinner with friends. But something a little more atypical attracted more than 200 students to gather on March 26 of this year: 50 young classicists presented “A Night of Greek and Roman Comedy” to a capacity crowd of their fellow students.
“The merits of firsthand exposure to the art and architecture of ancient Rome are hard to articulate, but there is something affective about the experience that raises questions and inspires critical thought beyond a textbook reading,“ wrote Tracy Jennings, a senior classics major, in a journal she kept while traveling through Rome in October.