WMU News

Young lovers of Latin come to WMU for convention

March 2, 1999

KALAMAZOO--"Scientia est potentia." More than 200 high school students who know that means "knowledge is power" will be at Western Michigan University Saturday March 13 for the spring convention of the Michigan Junior Classical League.

The classics section of the University's Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures will host the annual convention for young lovers of Latin beginning at 9 a.m. This is only the second time in the organization's history that its convention has been held at WMU.

Sponsored by the American Classical League, the National Junior Classical League was established for junior and senior high school students to encourage an interest in and appreciation of the language, literature and culture of ancient Greece and Rome

Dr. Robert J. Griffin, WMU professor of foreign languages and literatures, teaches the classics and is the faculty liaison for the event. Griffin says Latin has enjoyed a renaissance of enthusiasm in the past decade.

"Much of the renewed interest has resulted from an awareness that students who study Latin achieve significantly higher scores on the vocabulary and verbal skills section of the College Board exams," he says. "Also, students enjoy the challenge of learning the language and culture that underlies and enriches our own."

Griffin will kick off the conference by giving the keynote address, "Latin: Dead or Dead-on?" at 9 a.m. in Room 3502 of Knauss Hall. Other colloquia planned for the convention include "The Seven Roman Habits of Highly Effective People," by Dr. Rand H. Johnson, WMU associate professor of foreign languages and literatures; "Medical Latin: Body Parts, Diseases and How to Decipher Your Own Prescriptions," by Patricia Hanavan, WMU instructor of foreign languages and literatures, and William Hanavan, M.D.; and "The Vestal Virgins: Their Message for the Millennium," by Sandra Masters, also an instructor of foreign languages and literatures. The colloquia will be held in Dunbar Hall.

For more information, contact Griffin at (616) 387-3024

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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