RU Classics definitely in the building for University’s 243rd Anniversary Commencement

RUDeWittDiplomaThe oldest extant Rutgers diploma: Simeon DeWitt, class of 1776. Credit: Thomas Frusciano, SC/UA

What a Commencement Week for Rutgers Classics. One (especially well-deserved) PhD, two MPhils, five MAs, and fourteen Classics majors and thirteen minors who received the BA degree.

RUProcession21 May Rutgers College/SAS joint Commencement

Plus, for the University, a particularly enlightened choice of honorary degree recipients. The group included fashion designer Marc Ecko, businessman and social activist Alfred C. Koeppe (Newark Alliance), artist Faith Ringgold, jazz luminary Sonny Rollins, and social psychologist Philip G. Zimbardo.



20 May pre-Commencement with the honorary degree recipients. Above: Faith Ringgold. Below: Philip Zimbardo

At the traditional breakfast for these honorees, Sonny Rollins chose to keep celebratory words at a minimum, and instead took out his horn to play an inspired solo version of “The Folks Who Live on the Hill”.

RURollinsSonny Rollins takes the Jerome Kern songbook one step beyond

Marc Ecko doubled as Commencement speaker, impressively toting along his own Teleprompter system for the occasion. His (surprisingly effective) topic? The wisdom of “Row Row Row Your Boat”.

RUEckoEx-RU Pharmacy student Marc Ecko, founder of Marc Ecko Enterprises

Special congratulations are due to new Classics PhD Christopher Marchetti. Chris wrote his dissertation on “Aristoxenus’ Elements of Rhythm: Text, Translation, and Commentary“, under the direction of Thomas J. Figueira.


For six years now Marchetti has been based at the Flint Hill School (Oakton VA), as Upper School Classics Teacher. Before that he taught for a full eleven years in NJ at the Princeton Latin Academy. In 2001 he authored a textbook Elementary Ancient Greek that still sees use in schools today. This June Chris presents at Royal Holloway, London, at the 9th Annual RHUL/APGRD Postgraduate Symposium on the Reception of Ancient Drama. In July he will participate in the conference “The Look of Lyric: Greek Song and the Visual” at the European Cultural Centre in Delphi.

RUMarchettiAlumChris Marchetti, Rutgers Classics PhD 2009

ConnollyPowerRU Classics faculty members Serena Connolly (Yale blue) and Timothy Power (Harvard crimson)

But that’s not even the half of it…!!!

In spring 2005 the Classics departmental faculty voted to revive the Master of Philosophy degree in Classics. It is available to doctoral candidates in the program who meet the M.Phil. requirements of the Graduate School-New Brunswick, but with additional (demanding) stipulations. This academic year saw the first two students to meet all the requirements and receive the degree: Elizabeth A. Gloyn and Benjamin Wesley Hicks.

RUPlaqueAcademic procession takes ceremonial shortcut through Old Queen’s

Receiving the Master of Arts in academic year 08/09: Classics graduate students Naomi G. Gutierrez, Eirikur Gauti Kristjansson, Guy P. Smoot (now at Harvard University, Department of Comparative Literature), Jeremy Christian Thompson (now at University of Chicago, Department of History), and Lisa Ann Whitlatch. These five students deserve our warm congratulations.


And equally warm congratulations are owed to our undergraduate majors in Classics who graduated in 08/09: David Apigo, Benjamin Brophy, Joseph Darocki, Tova Genesen, Rachel Greiff, Dennis Hou, Jad Kaado, Nevean Khalil, David Nelson, Dimitri Nessas, Dan Notarmuzi, Alex Potts, Robert Santucci, and Jessica Shao.

RUKaadoGraduating with departmental Honors: Jad Kaado’09

Of course, our compliments to our undergraduate minors in Classics: Elizabeth Anderson, Gregory Campisi, Kellen Clarke, Austin-Lei De Pinto, Paul Farrugia, Emily Ferejohn, Brian Gorman, Heather Holgate, Erini Kabourakis, Adam Session, Yelena Shagalova, Michael Strassler, and Eric Zales.


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