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The Classics Made New
Jae Won Moon '20 & Emma Earls '20 Features Editor & Associate Editor
May 23, 2018

This coming year, the Classics Program at Deerfield will undergo fundamental alterations, including the reintroduction of ancient Greek into the curriculum, the establishment of new requirements for the Classics Distinction, and increased involvement of the Classics Club. These changes aim to promote genuine interest and curiosity in the Classics.

One significant change is the re-incorporation of Greek into the Classics Program.  This addition of Greek into the Classics curriculum for the coming year will take the form of a introductory level Greek course taught by Daniel Houston, who will also continue to teach Latin.

When discussing the reasoning behind this decision, Dr. Houston explained,“In the realm of Classics, Latin is only half the picture and ancient Greek is the other. Without Greek it would be a Latin studies program.”

Credit: Madeline Lee

Another important aspect of the Classics Program remodeling is the Classics Distinction, awarded to graduating seniors who have fulfilled a series of tasks and commitments within the Program. The details of this Distinction have been altered to reflect changes to the Classics Program.

All seniors who fulfill the requirements are awarded the  Distinction. Out of those seniors, one student will be chosen to win the Dicklow Prize. This prestigious award is an acknowledgment of continuous dedication to the Classics here at Deerfield.

Mr. Savage said, “It is all about a sustained commitment to the Classics at Deerfield.”

Another evolving aspect of the Program is the involvement of the Classics Club. Although the Club has no direct influence on the curriculum, the Classics Program strives to support this club through fostered interest and involvement.

Dr. Houston, who is the faculty advisor of the Classics Club, attested that the Club wants to create a space for students in the Classics Program to “[form] bonds and share the love for their discipline.”

The club has already taken significant steps in making the Classics Program more prominent on campus. Dr. Houston provides trips to different colleges to introduce members in the Classics Club to Classics events in the surrounding areas. Recent events included seeing Antigone in the Stadium at Harvard University and participating in a Latin Scavenger Hunt at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Many students currently participating in the Classics Program at Deerfield are eager to see what this new Program has in store for them.

Peter Sanford ’20, a Latin II student, said, “I think that the new Classical Studies Program is one that has a huge amount of potential. … I personally look forward to the new classes, like Greek.”

When discussing her love for Classics and her hopes for the program, Gemma Bishop ’19, a Latin IV student, said, “I’ve loved the Classics ever since I was a little kid, and I started taking Latin when I was in fifth grade. I hope [the program] can really inspire kids to discover a passion for these stories and this amazing ancient culture.”

Both faculty and students involved in the Classics Program look forward to the new version of the program and everything it has in store.

The Language Department and Classics Club hope this revival will offer students more resources and chances to delve deeper into their passion for the Classics.

Mr. Savage concluded, “We want to ensure that our students are gratifying their curiosity throughout their Deerfield career…We want it to be more than just being proficient in the language; we want it to be genuine curiosity.”