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.