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Classics Day attracts over 300 students

November 4, 2016

Michelle Ravel / The Courier

On October 22, students from Monmouth College and the surrounding area were invited to attend the third annual Classics Day hosted by Monmouth College’s Classics Department. The event took place from 1-4 p.m. on the Quad. Nearly 400 people, including students from 13 area high schools, attended the festivities throughout the day. Groups of students and professors also came from Trinity Academy, University of Illinois, Augustana College, and Knox College.

Five of the high schools came as part of their participation in the Illinois Junior Classical League-South annual meeting, which Monmouth-Roseville was hosting. Professor Simmons explained why he feels it’s important for students to come to the event. “Classics Day provides a visual, physical representation of people, places, and times that visitors to the event could otherwise only experience by reading or looking at still images. Classics Day also allows our school to be recognized by other schools, the community, and potential students as a place where vibrant learning happens.”

Many booths were set up around the Quad to demonstrate a range of ancient Greek Olympic events. Demonstrations were set up and run by students who have taken classes in the Classics department as an opportunity to bring their learning to life. The class Sports in Greece and Rome had eight stations set up to demonstrate a range of ancient Greek Olympic events including a Greek wine-throwing game and classical Roman chariot racing, the Greek Cities class constructed an ancient-Greek-style mud-brick hut for the event, and theater professor, Dr. Ron Zank, had his actors preview a performance of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King.

Other stations had non-athletic activities and stations including a classical Japanese incense game organized by Dr. Michelle Damian and her History of the Samurai class, a display of the most impressive Native American artifacts from the Archaeology Lab, food representative of that time period, and an ancient scavenger hunt among others. Throughout the event, professor Tom Simmons led educational demonstrations about the history of combat in ancient Greece and Rome.

Monmouth College senior Alan Kuhlemier talked about his experience at Classics Day. “I think that classics day was a great success, with tons of interaction from the students and the visitors.”

Last year’s Classics day was the most successful year yet winning the 2015 award for Outstanding Promotional Activity from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South. While this year’s Classics Day had big shoes to fill from last year’s event, the large number of students and community visitors made it a success. Professor Simmons said, “The goal of Classics Day is to promote the study of Classics to people on campus, to promote the college to people coming to the event from off campus, and to give students meaningful opportunities to display and share the learning they have done.”

Kyle Bradberry
Contributing Writer

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