Year in Review

At the end of each school year, our faculty and graduate students look back to reflect on highlights — professional and personal — that occurred. We also invite our alumni to share with us and their classmates any news happening in their lives and careers. We compile this information in the following e-newsletter and associated web pages. If you would like to be on our email distribution list, please contact Matthew Meyer.


Message from Chair Jed Atkins


The past year presented numerous personal and professional challenges for us all. Our Duke Classical Studies community was not immune from loss: this past January Emeritus Professor Keith Stanley passed away at 86. At the same time, our current faculty grew stronger when Cassandra Casias, originally hired as an assistant research professor, moved to a tenure-track position.  

When I reflect on the past year for Duke Classical Studies, one word comes most readily to mind: resilience. Despite challenging conditions, our faculty and graduate students continued to speak, write, teach, learn, excavate, research, and publish. Students finished Ph.D. dissertations and honors theses. As international travel opened up this summer, the archaeologists among us returned to the field. Faculty took advantage of Zoom to bring dynamic lecturers into the classroom. Students and faculty learned about Durham through local fieldtrips. Beyond Durham, our alums continued to flourish as lawyers, librarians, teachers, doctors, professors, authors, community leaders, mentors, parents, and more. I invite you to trace the indications of reliance within our community as you browse the highlights below provided by alums, faculty, and graduate students.

Alumni, Faculty & Graduate Student Updates

What's new with your former classmates? Wondering what activities or projects our faculty members and graduate students have been involved in? You can learn all this and more in our annual round-up of Year-In Updates. Simply click on the appropriate button below to visit our website to read (and see) the latest!

Read Alumni News Read Faculty Reflections Read Grad Student News

Undergraduates Activities and Recognition

Sophia Dort, with the help of graduate students, faculty, and her fellow undergraduates in the Classics Collegium hosted Duke’s first ever virtual Junior Classical League Certamen. We had 60 teams consisting of 200 participants from 27 schools and 13 states (and Washington, D.C.)!

Hundley and Karpel

Our majors and minors navigated the challenges of the past year with poise and elegance. Morgan Hundley was the first graduate of our recently implemented interdepartmental major with Religious Studies. Noah Karpel completed an outstanding senior thesis under Laura Lieber on Jewish identity in Alexandrian Egypt during the Late Ptolemaic and Early Roman Period despite limited access to the Library.

Classical Studies continues to attract some of the most interesting, accomplished, and intellectually curious undergraduates on the Duke campus, who combine the study of antiquity with a range of disciplines that include dance, music, history, linguistics, economics, philosophy, religious studies, public policy, political science, computer science, and chemistry.

Commencement 2021

commencement logo over campus shot

On Sunday, May 2, 2001 Duke Classical Studies celebrated the achievements of our graduating Classical Studies doctoral students, majors, and minors. For details, see our commencement website and video with a message from our Faculty.

Gratias Agimus

We are immensely grateful to friends and supporters who designate their Duke gifts to help the Department. Even as they help us accomplish our goals of furthering the love and understanding of Classical Studies, they remind us that our department continues to have an impact on those we have taught and met. We use these individual gifts primarily to support student research and course enhancement.

We also want to recognize the several endowments that are vital to the health of the department. Some were set up long ago, while others are fresh contributions, but all are vital to our mission:

  • The Warren Gates Endowment
  • The Anita Dresser Jurgens Endowment
  • The Francis Lanneau Newton Endowment
  • The Leonard and Lynn Quigley Fund
  • The Teasley Family Classical Antiquities Endowment
  • The Teasley-Carroll-Trope Family Faculty Support Endowment

If you are interested in learning more about how you can support the department, please contact Chris Clarke at