Welcome from the Chair
by Prof. Michael Arnush
Welcome to the first newsletter of Skidmore's Classics Department! I am pleased to take this opportunity on behalf of the Department to try to reconnect with many of our alumni and alumnae who have spread out across the orbis mundi. There are many changes afoot here in the study of classical civilization and we thought it time to fill you in.
Perhaps the most significant issue for us was the decision by the faculty to support our motion to become a separate department! For the first time in its history Skidmore now has a Department of Classics, which gives our interdisciplinary program and its mission a separate, independent identity. Prof. Leslie Mechem's column below fills you in on the state of Classics -- past, present and future.
This was also the year when we said goodbye to two colleagues and welcomed another. First, we were sorry to see Prof. Lisa George, a stalwart colleague and fine Latinist, depart for parts west in July, but we are thrilled to announce that Lisa has just landed a tenure-track job at Arizona State University. We wish her well and know that in her capable hands it won't be long before ASU has its own distinct Classics Department. Shortly afterwards we were joined by our newest colleague, Prof. Dan Curley, who will finish his doctoral dissertation on Ovid and Greek tragedy at the University of Washington in Seattle in June. Dan is our new Latinist, and he and his family (wife Krista, a environmental engineer, and daughter Kaitlin, the cutest 4-year-old you've ever met) have just finished their first very successful year with us. Ellen Hohmann, class of '00, profiles Prof. Curley in this newsletter. Prof. Curley's impact on our academic life is also visible in an article by newsletter editor Timothy Ball '01, in which Tim recaps for you the production of an original play crafted by Prof. Curley's fall Greek Drama class. Finally, our most esteemed President and resident Sophoclean and Horatian scholar, David Porter, retired after nearly 12 years of remarkable service to the College. David joined us in the classroom every year for the 10 years we worked together, providing stirring lectures on Greek tragedy to generations of Skidmore students. David will be joining the Classics faculty of Williams College for the 1999/2000 academic year, but we hope that we will soon see him grace our department's doorstep again.
Finally, we want to hear from you. Many of you are in touch with us via telephone, email, postcards and the like, but there are many whom we have not heard from in awhile. On the back of the newsletter is a tear-off sheet; please fill it in and send it back, so we can find out how the graduates of Classics at the College are faring.