University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Classics

Student Opportunities

Student research opportunities

The Department of Classics offers many opportunities for conducting individualized research projects in Greek, Latin, and Classical Civilization. Students may propose projects to faculty for Readings and Research (CLAS/GRK/LAT 197-198). (Normally this option is available only to Juniors and Seniors who have already done some course work in the subject.)

In addition, the Senior Seminar in Classics (CLAS 201) allows Senior majors and minors to undertake a major research or creative project. Classics students have also fared very well in qualifying for and successfully proposing College Honors thesis projects.

Funded research: Classics students have also had their research projects funded by the McNair Scholars Program and by the APLE and URECA! programs.

Recent or current research projects

  • Experimental translations of Ovid’s tale of Pyramus and Thisbe
  • A Diachronic study of the extension of Roman state religion as a method of validating monarchy (270-395 CE)
  • Orphic Cosmology and Presocratic Philosophy
  • A study of international law in the execution of inter-state policy in fifth- and fourth-century Greece
  • The Theban Sacred Band: A Symbol of Fourth-Century Military Innovation
  • The building of an ancient Greek lyre replica
  • A study of sickness and health in Seneca’s Letters
  • Transcription of Latin MSS. in the Bailey-Howe Library

Student travel opportunities

UVM’s Department of Classics is closely affiliated with several prestigious Schools in Greece and Italy, including the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, the American Academy in Rome, and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, where we often send students for both summer programs and semester- and year-long study abroad.

Financing your studies: The Department has endowed funds at its disposal that can help students defray the costs of attending these institutions (admission is competitive, by application):

  • The James Rignall Wheeler Memorial Fund: Established in honor of a UVM Classics undergraduate, class of 1880, who went on to become a Professor of Greek at UVM and the Chairman of the School’s Managing Committee (and later a Trustee).
  • The John H. Kent Memorial Fund: Honors the memory of Professor John Kent, who taught the Classics at UVM from 1950-1966, and served also as Dean of the Graduate College.
  • Department gift from the Walter H. Maurer Trust:The donor, Walter Harding Maurer, earned his BA in Classics at UVM in 1943, taught briefly as a graduate assistant in classical languages at UVM (1947-48) and went on to become a Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Hawaii.
  • The Maurer Endowment: Established in honor of UVM Professors Lester Prindle, (Classics), Arthur Myrick (Romance Languages), and George Kidder (Classics).
  • The Prindle-Myrick-Kidder Travel Scholarship: Awarded annually to two undergraduates ($2,000 each) for travel to classical sites abroad during the summer months. Application is competitive, by essay. Contact the Department Chair for more details.
    • Prindle-Myrick-Kidder Summer Scholarships for Classics Undergraduates

      The Prindle-Myrick-Kidder Summer Scholarships were established in 2009 by a gift from the Estate of Dr. Walter H. Maurer, a UVM undergraduate in Classics (B.A. 1943), and later Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. The awards are named in honor of three famed UVM Classics professors, Maurer’s teachers.

      Two or three of these scholarships will be awarded each year to help defray expenses for students participating in both credit and non-credit-bearing activities in the summer in Classics-related programs. Examples include archaeological digs, programs at the American School of Classical Studies, Athens, and the American Academy at Rome, summer language study, conferences, etc. The maximum amount of each award is $2,000.

      One stipulation of the award is that it must be used for activities pursued during the summer. Application is by proposal/letter to the Chair of the Department of Classics and each application will be judged on its merits, in particular on how what is proposed fits into the student’s course of study at UVM. Award recipients are expected to submit a brief report on their summer activities and, upon return, give a brief presentation about their experience to the Goodrich Classical Club or some other suitable venue.

      The proposal should include details of the project or program, proof of acceptance or letter of invitation, a budget, and, for independent travel projects, an annotated itinerary (i.e., where would you like to go and why?). Budgets should include realistic estimates of tuition, travel expenses, lodging, food, and any other program expenses.

      Deadline for receipt of application: April 30th. Proposals should be sent to the Chair of Classics.

Prizes, Scholarships, and Awards

The Department also offers several significant cash prizes every year at Honors Day:

  • The Kirby Flower Smith Latin Prize** — for best students in intermediate Latin
    • **NOTE: All students who enroll in Latin 051, 052 and Latin 101 and 102 become eligible for consideration for the Kirby Flower Smith Latin Prize, which is awarded annually at the Classics Department Honors Day. Those students who expressly wish not to be considered for this prize competition should notify the Department Chair in writing.
  • The Dr. Frederick Arnold Vinton Prize** — for best students — usually Juniors — in both Latin and Greek language
    • **NOTE: All students who enroll in both Greek and Latin language courses at the 100-level and above become eligible for consideration for the Frederick Arnold Vinton Prize, which is awarded annually at the College of Arts and Sciences' Honors Day. Those students who expressly wish not to be considered for this prize competition should notify the Department Chair in writing.
  • The John H. Kent Memorial Prize — for best overall student—usually a Senior—in Classics

For graduate students, the Department is able to offer meaningful stipendiary support through the Prindle-Myrick-Kidder Graduate Scholarship, funded by the Maurer Endowment, and from the Marguerite McEntee Wiedorn Scholarhip in Classical Languages.

Latin Day

Every Spring the Department hosts a huge event for area high school Latin teachers and their students. Now in its 34th year, Vermont Latin Day is a bacchanal of skits, displays, recitations, and Scholars Bowl-type of competitions in Latin grammar and syntax. Over 1,000 area high school students attend. The Governor of Vermont issues a proclamation (in Latin and English) to recognize the whole week in which Latin Day occurs as Vermont Latin Week. UVM Classics students serve as hosts and helpers for a day of fun and foolery.

Latin Day Multimedia

The Goodrich Classical Club

This undergraduate Classics club receives Student Government Association funding and organizes field trips (to, e.g., Boston and NYC) for museum tours and performances, guest lectures, and hosts a regular movie night ("Cheese and Cheese").

Learn more: For further information about research projects and independent study, please contact the Department Chair, M. D. Usher, by e-mail musher@uvm.edu, or phone at 656-4431.

Last modified February 25 2013 03:32 PM