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Iota at the University of Vermont

The 2009–2010 academic year has been a

dynamic and productive one for the Iota

chapter of Eta Sigma Phi at the University

of Vermont. The Iota chapter is part and

parcel of the campus Goodrich Classical

Club, and with weekly meetings throughout

the academic year, we have increased

both our membership and on-campus

interest in the Classics.

In particular, we frequently screened

Classics-themed films and held informal

discussions afterwards on Classics in

entertainment and pop culture; offerings

included Spartacus, Disney’s Hercules,

Black Orpheus, HBO’s Rome, and the

original Clash of the Titans. These became

great opportunities to raise our profile

on campus as well as to provide a chance

for recruitment, and our membership has

indeed grown as we become better known.

As a club we also arranged various social

events, such as seeing the new theatrical

release of Clash of the Titans with pizza

afterwards. We also joined forces with the

campus science fiction club to host a public

lecture on the myth of Perseus in Classical

Tradition and popular culture.

The spring semester was particularly active.

On April 9, the Classics Department

hosted the 35th Annual Ludi Vermontenses

(Vermont Latin Day, a celebration of the

Classics for some 1000 of Vermont’s high

school teachers and students of Latin).

Members of Iota chapter participated

by helping to set up and run the event,

including acting as marshals for the different

high school contingents. Members

all dressed for the occasion in some rather

spectacular ways. We even made it into the

local paper and news broadcasts (!), and we

got the day officially proclaimed “Vermont

Latin Day” by the governor.

Soon afterwards, on April 16, Classics

Honors Day, we invited more than

twenty students for membership into Eta

Sigma Phi, eight of whom we inducted

in the Classics department’s end-of-term

celebration of student achievements. The

reception also honored a large number of

Eta Sigma Phi members with departmental

prizes for Greek and Latin. On April 17,

Iota chapter/Goodrich co-sponsored a field

trip to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Concluding the spring semester with

a successful bake sale, Iota chapter looks

forward to doing even more for Classics

on campus in the next academic year,

including plans to stage a mock phalanx

battle on the green, host more bake sales,

and sponsor a museum field trip to Boston,

New York, or Montreal.

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