Classical Studies Honor Society Inducts New Members

Chapter President Joshua Jacobs addresses members of Eta Sigma Phi during spring initiation at the home of professor Daniel Levine on May 6.
Rhodora Vennarucci

Chapter President Joshua Jacobs addresses members of Eta Sigma Phi during spring initiation at the home of professor Daniel Levine on May 6.

The Beta Pi Chapter of the national Classical Studies Honorary society Eta Sigma Phi held its annual initiation ceremony and officer elections on May 6.

At this annual Lemuria party, the chapter inducted three new members, bringing to 19 the number it has initiated this academic year. The members also elected officers for the coming academic year. Membership is by invitation only, based on recommendations from professors of Latin and Greek.

Eta Sigma Phi is an honorary society founded in 1914 at the University of Chicago to honor students studying ancient Greek and Latin. In the last 109 years, over 250 colleges and universities have established chapters. The local U of A chapter was chartered in 1953 and is a registered student organization. Its faculty advisers are professors who teach ancient Greek, Latin and Classical Studies in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures: Dave Fredrick, Daniel Levine, Joy Reeber and Rhodora Vennarucci.

The purpose of this society is to encourage classical scholarship, to enhance the appreciation of Greek and Roman culture and to promote goodwill and friendship among classical students. The new initiates promise to continue to maintain a high quality of scholarship, to contribute their fair share of time and effort to carry forward the work of the chapter and to prove themselves worthy of the goodwill and friendship which the chapter accords them. They receive pins, membership cards and certificates of initiation. Each year several students are elected to positions of leadership.

The local chapter held three initiations this academic year, associated with three ancient Roman festivals: Saturnalia (December), Lupercalia (February) and Lemuria (May). The chapter marks these occasions with food, fellowship and activities such as films, Latin/Greek labeled gift giving, ritual re-enactments, campouts and guest speakers. In November, the Beta Pi Chapter sponsored a performance of The Blues of Achilles by musician/classicist Joe Goodkin in Giffels Auditorium and a reception in his honor at Carnall Hall.

U of A student members of Eta Sigma Phi have attended numerous society conventions, won national translation contests, won scholarships for study abroad and archaeology field schools and have been national officers in the organization. U of A student members have been national winners of the CERTAMEN, a classical-themed quiz bowl. The most recent U of A team won this coveted honor in 2019, when the Arkansas chapter's team, the RAZORBACCHAE, placed first at the annual convention at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

This year's undergraduate initiates in Beta Pi Chapter of Eta Sigma Phi at the U of A (AY 2022-2023):

  • Hadley Adkison
  • Caroline Armstrong
  • Christine Burkhalter
  • Chloe Dean
  • Owen Durham
  • Andrew Haynes
  • Henry Hoy
  • Kylie Jansen
  • Olivia Kline
  • Alyse Mandelblatt
  • Sloane McKinney
  • Harrison Merrick
  • Brett Monroe
  • Zoë Reif
  • Kailee Rowe
  • Katherine Schlagel
  • Iseabaila Scott
  • Peter Sheppard
  • Laura Young

For more information about the Beta Pi chapter, contact Daniel Levine at dlevine@uark.edu or Rhodora Vennarucci at rhodorav@uark.edu. For information about Eta Sigma Phi nationally, visit: www.etasigmaphi.org.

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