In December, 13 students from Dr. Lorina Quartarone’s upper-division Latin classes participated in a national exam sponsored by the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS). The exam involved translation of a passage the students had not seen before from Latin into English. This year’s passage was by the Roman poet Ovid.
Within the two categories (advanced and intermediate), students could win either a cash prize, a book prize or a certificate of commendation. St. Thomas’ students were among the 171 students who completed the advanced exam.
Sophomore Mary Billion (majors in Latin and Catholic studies and minors in Greek and philosophy) scored among the top 3 percent and received a cash prize. Sophomore Jacob Hornecker (majors in philosophy, Catholic studies and classical languages) ranked in the top 7 percent and received a book award. Junior David Kirsch (majoring in philosophy and Catholic studies, minoring in Latin and the Renaissance program) and junior Matthew Koppinger (philosophy major, Latin and Catholic studies minors) scored in the top 22 percent and received certificates of commendation.
In his letter accompanying the awards, CAMWS secretary-treasurer Thomas Sienkewicz, professor of classics at Monmouth College in Illinois, expresses the achievement of these students as follows: “Inasmuch as CAMWS territory includes 32 states and three provinces, and all the participating schools select their contestants from first-class Latin programs, our committee feels that we have identified the best Latin students in North America. Please remind your students that they are part of a select group of Latin students who are carrying the study of the classical tradition into the 21st century. For this reason we think that any student who took the exam deserves praise.”
This is the second year in a row that St. Thomas’ Latin students have received recognition in this competition.