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


Departmental and university life during 2022-2023 saw most of the pre-pandemic rhythms of academic life return. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, this summer we were able to send our full complement of undergraduate and graduate archaeologists into the field. Latin and Greek students had opportunities to travel to study (and speak!) the ancient languages in programs in the United States, London, and Rome.

This year also saw the promotion of colleague Alicia Jiménez to Associate Professor with Tenure in Classical Studies. Congratulations Alicia! Lauren Ginsberg has ended her stellar term as Director of Graduate Studies, and Joshua Sosin will take her place. Lauren was instrumental in the creation of a new Bridge-to-the-PhD Program to ensure that talented students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds can matriculate to graduate studies in our department. The American Office of L’Année philologique, the most comprehensive bibliography in our field, has begun incorporating reception in their online Brepols database. We in Duke Classical Studies are delighted to host this office.

Check out the links below for updates and highlights from our faculty, students, and alums.

Alumni and Friends HighlightsGraduate Student HighlightsFaculty Highlights

L’Année Philologique UpdateDuke has a Bridge to the PhD Program!

Undergraduate Activities and Recognition

At the heart of our pedagogic mission lies the conviction of the abiding relevance of classical antiquity to the here and now. Our students often remark how their engagement with the ancient world has given them a singular reference point from which to evaluate their experience. Our faculty recognize the need to carve out space for habits reflection that promote long-term human flourishing. Our department is showing the way to a holistic education that addresses the deepest felt social and intellectual needs of our students. With offerings like “How to live and how to die,” “The Good Life,” and “How to rule the world” next to the more traditional “Athenian Law,” “Roman Spectacle,” and “Greek History,” our curriculum attracts inquisitive undergraduates from all walks of life and disciplinary interests.

Special recognition this year is owed to Greg Orme, a brilliant math major and Greek minor who graduated with superb mastery of ancient Greek; to Anneke Zegers, an English major and Latin minor whose boundless energy and enthusiasm for the classical world made her an outstanding departmental ambassador; to Eric Johannessen, who in only three years managed a double major in Classical Civilization and Political Science; and to David Mellgard Jr., whose senior thesis on Claudius’ conquest of Britain, directed by Professor Boatwright, displayed an ambition of scope and quality of execution that made us all proud. He was a worthy recipient of the David Taggart Clark Prize in Classical Studies.

Commencement 2023

On Friday May 12, 2023, Duke Classical Studies celebrated the achievements of our graduating Classical Studies doctoral students and majors with a dinner at Parizade. Abong’o Adongo, Eric Johannessen, David Mellgard, Jr., and Amanda Turner earned the BA in Classical Civilizations. Tyler Donovan completed an interdepartmental major in Classical Studies and History. Alexandra Brice and Zachary Burd minored in Classical Civilizations; Greg Orme, in Greek and Anneke Zeger, in Latin. David Mellgard, Jr. earned high Distinction for his dissertation, “Claudius' Conquest of Britain: The Importance of Cultural Capital in the Early Roman Empire,” and also won the David Taggart Clark Prize in Classical Studies.

On the graduate side, 2023 was a banner year for producing new PhDs: Erickson Bridges, Michael Freeman, Alex Karsten, Sinja Küppers, and Antonio LoPiano all completed this impressive terminal degree. Dani Vander Horst completed an MA. Congratulations to our graduates and their families. We are cheering you on as you leave Duke and join our wonderful alumni community.

Classical Studies Faculty with 2023 Graduates
Classical Studies Faculty with 2023 Graduates

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. This past year the department received generous new gifts from Mike and Diann Nickelsburg that support all aspects of our mission but especially our students’ study of Latin and Greek.

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
  • The Diann Miller Nickelsburg Fund

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