Jesia Choity ’27  |  Published September 25, 2023

Classics Day VI

Back-in-time, award-winning event set for Sept. 30 in Trubeck Amphitheater.

GETTING INTO IT: At one of Monmouth College's Classics Days of the past, Daniel Hintzke '... GETTING INTO IT: At one of Monmouth College's Classics Days of the past, Daniel Hintzke '18 showed off the type of authenticity that can be seen at the event.MONMOUTH, Ill. – When Marty McFly traveled back in time in the 1985 film Back to the Future, he went 30 years. For those who want to go back even farther, Monmouth College’s Classics Day provides a window some 2,000 years into the past.

From 1-4 p.m. Sept. 30 in the Trubeck Amphitheater, the College will host the sixth iteration of its award-winning Classics Day, which immerses the campus in the activities of the ancient world, with a focus on Greece and Rome. The rain site is the Huff Athletic Center.

“Classics Day VI is a festival of 50 or so events, most of them hands-on and/or interactive, based on the global classical world and its reflections in the modern world,” said classics professor Bob Simmons, who brought the event with him from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro when he joined Monmouth’s faculty in 2014.


Something for everyone

Free and open to the public, Classics Day VI has something to offer for all ages. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience the classical world through virtual reality, to watch classical Middle East and Latinx adaptations of Greek tragedies, and to participate in ancient Greek athletic competitions and Roman chariot races. People can also try on ancient Greek and Roman attire, interact with soldiers and other figures from millennia ago, and learn about ancient papyrus and write on it in ancient style.

Non-classics majors make up part of the event’s student leadership team, and in addition to the theatre department’s involvement, Monmouth’s neuroscience department will also participate in this year’s event, providing a poster that exhibits what ancient philosophers and physicians understood about the functions of the brain and comparing it to contemporary perspectives.

“I attended Monmouth College because of Classics Day. … When I came that September for the event, I fell in love with the campus and realized, ‘I want to come here. I want to do classics here.’” Rahm Pandey


Through the campus radio station, WPFS-FM, communication studies students are also joining in on the fun, according to the station’s manager, Jan Abel ’24 of Wataga, Illinois.

“WPFS is coming out with classical themed music,” said Abel, who is president of the College’s Classics Club, but a major in English and public relations.


A Monmouth showcase

Several high schools around the state have once again expressed interest in bringing students to Classics Day, said Simmons. A few years ago, one of those high school students in attendance was Rahm Pandey of Chicago, who’s now a senior classics and accounting major.

“I attended Monmouth College because of Classics Day,” said Pandey. “When I visited campus in July of 2018, I met with Professor Simmons, and he was telling me about Classics Day, and I was like, ‘Wow, I really have to attend.’ When I came that September for the event, I fell in love with the campus and realized, ‘I want to come here. I want to do classics here.’”

“We have a range of classics courses, and these classes are tied into opportunities to develop skills and to plan and carry out events so that people can bring their learning to life.” Bob Simmons


Simmons said Classics Day helps students develop their leadership skills, which often leads to Monmouth classics majors standing out on campus.

“One of the things that makes the classics program at Monmouth College distinctive, is first of all, the number of leadership opportunities that we offer to students in the various things we do,” he said. “We have a range of classics courses, and these classes are tied into opportunities to develop skills and to plan and carry out events so that people can bring their learning to life.”

A recent example of Monmouth students assisting with a major event was the national meeting of Eta Sigma Phi, the undergraduate honor society for classics, which was held last March on campus.

That academic organization is one of several that have taken notice of the educational value that Classics Day provides, naming it as an award-winning program. Others include the Society for Classical Studies – the largest and most prestigious organization for classics in the United States – and the Classical Association of the Middle West and South.

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