History of Classics at the University of Arizona

"Instruction in the classical languages on this campus is almost as old as the University itself." Thus begins the "History of the Department of Classics," written in 1987 by Drs. Richard Jensen and Thomas Worthen.

Classics at the University of Arizona, 1892-present

Throughout this narrative history of Classics at the University of Arizona since its inception as the President's personal responsibility in 1892, certain themes recur repeatedly. Faculty in Classics consistently have been motivated by an unyielding conviction that the study of Greco-Roman civilization is of fundamental importance to a liberal arts education and to an education that is truly liberating. They have put that conviction into practice by their vigorous commitment to undergraduate, and, more recently, graduate student teaching, sometimes under the most challenging circumstances. Faculty in Classics regularly have taught course overloads while at the same time achieving international reputations for their research. They have worked industriously to foster ties in Tucson and throughout Arizona, whether by giving radio talks, public lectures or podcasts, teaching seminars for the general community, serving on the boards of local organizations, or by participating in various other outreach activities. Since virtually its inception, the UA Department of Classics has been a pioneer in hiring female faculty members. In conclusion, the remarkable expansion of the UA Department of Classics from the first years of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st can be attributed to two factors above all others: first, the uncompromising dedication of Arizona Classics faculty to teaching, and, secondly, commitment to the belief that constantly reinvigorated study and reappraisal of Greco-Roman civilization remains profoundly relevant to the experience of students living in the contemporary world. Today, Classics at the University of Arizona remains a resilient, vibrant, and innovative force uniquely suited to assume an important role in the field as it faces the new challenges of the current century.

History of the Department by period: