Jacob Sorge 2020-21 Megas Chrysophylax

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By Katherine Panagakos on June 30, 2020.

Quick Facts: 

  • Jacob Sorge
  • Alpha Kappa at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Rising Junior
  • Double major in Latin and Clinical Psychology, with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies.

In their own words:

My name is Jacob Sorge, and I’ll be entering my third year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign this upcoming fall semester, whose chapter of Eta Sigma Phi is the Alpha Kappa chapter.  I intend to double major in Latin and Clinical Psychology, with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies.  Furthermore, I have the privilege to have served as president for my local chapter this year, as well as both the treasurer and then president of our local Greek and Roman Classics’ Club, which I helped to co-create after it’s predecessor had gone defunct just prior to when my colleagues and I arrived at the U of I.  Before that, I was co-president of my high school Latin Club my senior year, and I’ve been taking Classics courses continuously since my first year of high school.

Why Jacob wants to be your Megas Hyparchos:

It is a very difficult thing, indeed, to find a group of like-minded individuals, individuals with whom you share both a common interest and a common conviction with, a group in which you belong – your group.  For me, and for, I imagine, all of us in Eta Sigma Phi, this is one of those groups.  And having found this group, this wonderful group of Greek and Roman Classics enthusiasts, I want to do everything that I possibly can to give back and to be of service, to make this organization even greater than it already is, to do my part in preserving and creating a better tomorrow for those who follow after us.  Classics is a very important area of study – one that is very under-appreciated and often misunderstood; this I hardly need to say at all.  But that’s what we all know:  Classics is our window to the ancient Mediterranean world, to thousands of years of Western culture and human civilization, allowing us to see the many, many ways in which our current world differs – and the many, many ways it is still the same.  Only through the study of Classics, and not just recent history, can we ever hope to learn from the past, humanity’s successes and failures, or even to truly understand the most basic truths of human nature, and the impact that all of this has on our everyday existence today.  But all too often someone asks, “Classics?  Do you mean… Jane Austen?  No?  Uhh… Bach, maybe?”  All too often someone says, “Latin is a dead language… What can we possibly stand to learn from some dusty old statues and disintegrating papyrus rolls?  Let the past die in peace; our STEM future is all that matters.”  As if STEM without culture is the pinnacle of humanity, and as if culture without its roots is not a like a plant without roots – dead and withered.  And all too often our field is misused and misrepresented in the most atrocious of ways.  And while I may not be able to single-handedly preserve the study of Classics, to pass that all important torch of knowledge along to those who come after us, or to protect the reputation of our field from those who do it harm, or to reach the people who do not see why our passion for the Classics is so important and help them to see how integral our field is to the future, if we seek to build a better, new future, STEM and all, that if science and culture stand divided, that united they will fall, what I can do is do my part as one of many, for together, all of us, through the culmination of our individual efforts, can accomplish these things.  And is that not what Eta Sigma Phi stands for?  A community to preserve, to promote, and to appreciate the Greek and Roman Classics, together?  If I was to be elected as Grand Vice-President, I promise that I would do everything in my power to protect and promote those goals, and that is why I am running.