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Zeta Beta Chapter at Temple University

Zeta Beta Chapter has had a productive
and entertaining year celebrating Classics
and spreading the word about Eta Sigma
Phi. We started off the year with a hot
dog fundraiser during welcome week for
freshmen, and had officers and professors
advise incoming freshmen about starting
a college career in general and about
studying Classics at Temple in particular.
We later took advantage of an offer from
the Qdoba restaurant chain and distributed
fliers. Persons taking the fliers to the
restaurant won for us a percentage of the
price of their meal.
One of our biggest events was the
visit of Dr. Daniel Levine from Arkansas,
organized and hosted by the students. Dr.
Levine gave a lecture on “Tuna in the Ancient
World,” which had us all “hooked.”
We left the lecture not only more informed
about dietary habits in the ancient world,
but also about the environmental impact of
tuna on our world as well as on theirs. Our
chapter was inspired to invite Dr. Levine
to Temple after meeting him at convention
at Virginia Tech. The talk itself drew
a large crowd from the Classics Department
and also from modern languages and
environmental studies.
We had a visit from the creators of Tell
Me O Muse, an organization that has developed
a curriculum for schools and business
firms that adapts the Odyssey into simpler
format to assist teachers who wish to present
Homer’s epic to younger students and
business leaders who can use the metaphor
in the context of Human Resources. We
are working with Tell Me O Muse to find a
way to promote the Classics in the Philadelphia
area through study of the Odyssey.
Zeta Beta traveled to the University
of Delaware at Newark to help revive the
dormant Delta Tau chapter of Eta Sigma
Phi. The officers of Zeta Beta initiated 17
new members. We hope to continue our
relationship with Delta Tau and together
become more involved in local and national
Classics-related events. We enjoyed
visiting their campus and socializing at an
informal reception.
Zeta Beta represented the national
organization by manning the table at this
year’s meeting of the Classical Association
of the Atlantic States. Members also sat at
the Focus Publishing table and received
a monetary donation and all the leftover
books from the display to reward us for our
help. We have used the books as a fundraiser
for the chapter.
Our annual Winter Solstice Celebration
linked the ancient festival of Saturnalia
with contemporary winter festivals. We
heard presentations on holidays including
Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and
Diwali, all of which share the Roman
emphasis on the celebration of light and
life in the middle of dreary, bleak midwinter.
A potluck lunch draws any students
taking classes in our department into our
revelries, as well as guests from other divisions
of the university and even outside the
university community.
At the first of many anticipated “Movie
Nights,” we viewed a classically inspired
movie, The Warriors. The sponsor of this
film, Matt Watton, explained its allusions
to Xenophon’s Anabasis. We hope to have
more Classics screenings in the future. Dr.
Roy, one of our sponsors, and her husband,
Dr. Tortorelli, also a Classicist, have led
reading groups in Greek and Latin texts.
We plan to continue these activities, too.
For fundraising for this convention,
Zeta Beta organized several bake sales,
including one on the Roman festival of
Lupercalia. Dr. Hersch’s cupcakes with
miniature reenactments of the whipping of
women of Rome by the Fabii and Quinctilii
won our great admiration for her ability in
art, her culinary skills, and her knowledge
of ancient Roman custom. We also held a
design competition and had t-shirts made
up with the winning decor: Legends of the
Hidden TEMPLE. A field of purple sports
a golden parrot wearing a helmet. We sold
these to students in our department and
beyond. We sponsored a presentation on
25 April for the reading of a paper by a
student requesting distinction in major
at graduation. Students who had written
“capstone course in major” papers presented
their ideas in abstracts. Refreshments were
served. We ended the school year with a
marathon reading of the Odyssey.
An ongoing project is our coloring
book featuring Roman heroes, gods, and
goddesses. When complete, our pictures
will be bound into books to be distributed,
with crayons, to the Children’s Hospital
of Philadelphia. They very much appreciated
our artwork from last year, which was
made into coloring books of Greek deities.
We are happy that six students of Classics,
Zeta Beta Chapter members, have
received honors with financial reward to
be presented at baccalaureate ceremonies.
Three students have received scholarships
for study abroad.
Seven new members were initiated
in time for convention this year. One of
them, Ashley Gilbert, has been elected to
national office as Megale Chrysophylax.
Zeta Beta will support Ashley and the
other national officers at APA this coming
January in Philadelphia.
We take this opportunity to thank our
continuing Trifeminate of sponsors, Doctors
Davis, Roy and Hersch, and look forward to
working with them again next year.
Our contact with the Urbs Aeterna
continues through Alex Turock, former
Consul of Zeta Beta, who is studying at
Temple’s Rome Campus this year. We look
forward to his return and the stories of
adventures that will inspire other chapter
members to make their pilgrimages to
Lavinian shores.

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