Tim Morris, a Monmouth College junior from Olive Branch, Miss., was elected national prytanis (president) for 2014-2015 of Eta Sigma Phi, the national classics honorary society.
The election occurred at the 86th annual convention of Eta Sigma Phi, which was held earlier this month in Evanston.
In other news from the convention, Monmouth College was chosen as the host of the 2016 convention. It will be the fourth time that an Eta Sigma Phi convention will be held at Monmouth. Also, classics professor Tom Sienkewicz received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the profession.
In addition to Morris, other Monmouth classics students who attended the convention were
Amanda Bowman, Ariel Fornino, Rachael Laing, Sam Mackey, Nick Mainz, Shawn Oleszczuk, Melissa O’Shea, Tiffany Shaw and Emma Vanderpool, accompanied by classics faculty members Kris Lorenzo and Sienkewicz.
This year’s convention location was chosen to commemorate the centennial of the society, which began as a local classics club at the prestigious University of Chicago in 1914. Ten years later, that group joined with a similar organization at Northwestern University to become a national society. The University of Chicago became the Alpha Chapter and Northwestern became the Beta Chapter. Monmouth College’s Gamma Omicron Chapter was founded in 1956 by classics professor Bernice Fox. Charter members included Monmouth professors Harold Ralston and Garrett Thiessen.
Festivities included ceremonies on the campuses of both founding universities, where wreaths were laid and appropriate passages in Latin and ancient Greek were recited. Lorenzo organized a field trip to the Oriental Institute, which included a scavenger hunt through the museum, won by Morris and Fornino a senior from Evergreen Park. Mainz, a freshman from Monmouth, was a member of the runner-up team at the annual certamen (classics-themed College Bowl).
At the formal banquet, Laing, a junior from Buffalo Grove, was named one of the best-dressed feminae (women) for her costume of QuisTis, the Eta Sigma Phi owl mascot.
Richard Harrod, a 2007 Monmouth graduate who majored in classics and is now working on a master’s degree in Near Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago, helped facilitate the visit to that university’s campus.