Barry McNamara  |  Published February 07, 2023

Monmouth Associates

Study-abroad trip to Greece is topic of Feb. 16 program, which will be held at Meks on Main.

FAMILIAR COLUMNS: This Monmouth group is not standing in front of the columns at Wallace Hall but... FAMILIAR COLUMNS: This Monmouth group is not standing in front of the columns at Wallace Hall but, rather, of the Parthenon in Athens, which they visited the day before they returned from their study-abroad trip to Greece.MONMOUTH, Ill. – To stand where Socrates stood. To get into position at the starting line where the first Olympic athletes raced. To experience “xenia” in its many shapes and forms.

Those were just some of the highlights of a Monmouth College study-abroad trip to Greece over Christmas break.

The faculty who led 17 Monmouth students to Greece – communication studies professor Lori Walters-Kramer and classics professor Bob Simmons – will speak about the trip at the next meeting of Monmouth Associates on Feb. 16. Several students will also speak at the program, which will begin at noon at Meks On Main, 201 N. Main St.

Titled “Out of the Classroom and into the Ruins: From Monmouth to Mycenae,” the talk is free, but there is a $15 charge for the luncheon portion of the program. Individuals who attend the meal can make reservations by Feb. 13 by phone at 309-457-2231 or at alumni@monmouthcollege.edu.

Simmons, who has traveled to Greece several times, said he is in awe of the “astonishing staying power” of many of the sites the Monmouth group visited, including the Citadel of Mycenae and the Treasury of Atreus.

The place that leaves Walters-Kramer in awe is a spot just down the hill from a major tourist site in Athens.

“A lot of people like the Parthenon, but my favorite place is just below it – the Agora, which is an ancient marketplace,” she said. “A lot of dialogue took place there. Socrates would walk through there engaged in discussions.”

Another element of the trip that both Walters-Kramer and Simmons referenced was Greek hospitality, or xenia, a custom believed to be fundamental for civilized life.

Parking will be available in the city lot at North 1st Street and East Archer Avenue or at the corner of North Main Street and West Boston Avenue.

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