Instead of asking “What do you want to do with Classics or Latin?” you should ask “Who do you want to be?“
A training in the Classics brings huge benefits. Our grads are disciplined, rigorous, creative, and thoughtful, ready to pursue whatever path their heart or fate decides. They have taken jobs in a myriad of positions in a myriad of regions. Here are some of the people who have taken our classes and we consider part of our Marshall Classics family.
Bill Bissett, President Kentucky Coal Association
Marshall University Class of ’92, ’97, ’14
From the discipline needed for four semesters of Latin to the rich experience of ancient cultures, classes in Marshall University’s Classics Department not only prepared me for an ever-changing career path, but also gave me the academic confidence to pursue both my master’s and doctoral degrees.
Virginia “Ginny” Cook, Teacher, Charleston Catholic
When I began my undergrad at Marshall University, I thought I had it all figured out. I knew what I wanted to major and minor in. I was prepared to work as hard as I needed, including extra classes and summer courses, in order to graduate in four years. It was during my first summer as an undergraduate that I took Mythology 319. In this mythology class I found a world that I had never experienced. It was the first time in my studies that I could not get enough; I wanted to know as much as I could. I was enthralled by the ancient world and the people- people I could still relate to thousands of years later. From this class, I enrolled in as many Classics courses as I could, including Latin and Greek. In these classrooms I found environments where ideas were important, discussion was key, and I was expected to think critically and write analytically. My graduate work in the Latin program only perpetuated these experiences.
My entire time in Marshall University’s Classics Department prepared me in ways I could not have imagined or even understood at the time. I finished my Masters and went to teach Latin at a private preparatory school where I was also asked to teach Mythology. I did not have specific teaching experience, only a content-area degree. I had no idea beginning my first year teaching how I would apply my skills in this new setting. As time passed, I found that my work at Marshall not only prepared me academically, but it gave me classroom ideas, lesson ideas and new ways of approaching an “old” subject. I was able to implement a classroom environment conducive to learning Latin grammar and ancient culture as one while also tying the subject matter into our world today. Marshall’s Classics program and Latin Masters program were a drastic turning point in my studies, and they prepared me as a professional, and scholar and an individual.
The ability to study Classics at Marshall University has provided me with a truly unique opportunity; unique not just because Marshall offers the only program of its kind in the state, but due in great part to the fact that the Classics offer scholars access to a world of possibilities far beyond the realm of etymologies and literary analyses. Said skills serve to facilitate the fundamental goal of a classicist, but they are not ends unto themselves. As acolytes of such a venerated tradition, we strive for a comprehension of our collective heritage that may only be achieved through immersion. Whereas a student of a modern language or culture may elect to devote time living amongst his or her subjects in order to proffer a more accurate sketch of their existence, we are afforded this chance only through diligent cultivation of an intimate knowledge of our predecessors and of ourselves in turn. It is then that our dedication to philology and the myriad other analytical tools we obtain and hone through experiencing the Classics becomes paramount. Though many of us, myself included, have decided to commit our lives to the furtherance of classical inquiries, the skills requisite to such a task possess a much broader purview of applicability. While at Marshall, I have come to see the full veracity of this statement not merely inasmuch as the faculty have made it evident both by instruction and by example; rather, we have been encouraged to explore the bounds of our skills that ultimately only we may set.
Breana Moore, Teacher, St. Joe’s Catholic School
I graduated from Marshall University with a Bachelors and a Masters of Arts Degree, and am now in the career that I love! Not only did Marshall prepare me for my field, but being able to work closely with the classics department and attending Latin classes allowed me to work at a Catholic School as both the Counselor and Latin teacher. Having both abilities, Latin and Counseling, helped me secure the job that I always wanted.
Natalie Tupta, Studying to be a TOEFL instructor
When I graduated from high school in 2009 with four years of Latin under my belt, I knew I wasn’t finished pursuing my passion of studying Classics. I happily chose Marshall as my home for the next four years because of the warm welcome of the faculty in the Classics department. As I developed intellectually and personally during my undergraduate career, my Classics professors offered me academic challenges in the classroom and edifying career advice during office hours. My professors have helped me research study abroad programs, invited me into their homes for departmental bonding parties, offered me advice on presenting papers like a professional, and supported me in career exploration. I ended up applying for a Master’s degree in English as a Second Language, and I was accepted by each program to which I applied because of the recommendation of my professors and the robust résumé I had developed as a result of my Classics education. I am headed to the University of Texas – Pan American in the fall, full of confidence in my academic ability and professionalism because of the excellent education I received from the Classics department here at Marshall.
Okey J. Napier, Jr.
I consider the final two years required to complete my Bachelor of Arts degree (BA), the most important of my life. After a fifteen year hiatus from University, I returned and enrolled in the Basic Humanities program and specialized in Classical Studies. During those two years, I truly received a quality education – critical thinking, writing, up-to-date research in the classics (being able to recognize good research!), and strict adherence to methodology – all of which combined to give me a superb education and prepare me for graduate school. It was in Classics that I learned how to be 1) a scholar and 2) a teacher. As a graduate student, I often found myself thanking the faculty of the Classics department for the training they gave me as I watched some of my fellow graduate students, who came unprepared into the program, struggle. In my post graduate world, I use what I learned every day. I am a better person and a much better teacher thanks to the model provided in the Classics Department at Marshall University. If anyone were to ask me for a recommendation as to what undergraduate degree to pursue, my immediate response has always been and always will be, “If you want an outstanding education, choose Classics!”
Emily Kolas, Lawyer
Minoring in Classics (the perfect complement to the English – Literature major) was one of the best academic decisions I made at Marshall. The Classics professors are incredibly knowledgeable and lively, and they push students to perform at their full potential. In Classics courses, I learned how to see things from the perspective of a different people and how to find similarities between ancient and modern thinking. I also learned how to read and analyze unique writing styles that I would not have otherwise encountered. Those skills helped me both as an English major at Marshall, and as a law student at the University of Baltimore. No writing or reading assignment has ever challenged me since. I passed the Maryland Bar Exam on my first attempt and am now seeking a position with a non-profit or government agency.