Christendom’s classics department students have found great success in recent years, with students winning national awards and earning highly competitive fellowships at major universities. This year was no different, with sophomore Mary Clare Young being selected to present a paper in Chicago this coming January, six students winning National Latin Translation prizes, and three seniors earning fellowships for post-graduate studies — a testament to the rigor and strength of Christendom’s classics and early Christian studies department.

Christendom’s classics department is unlike similar departments found at other universities. Rather than separating Christianity from the study of classical languages, history, and tradition, Christendom embraces the fullness of the major, teaching students a rigorous course of study — resulting in many successful students and alumni, such as Young.

Young, who won an award at the advanced level of the CAMWS National Latin Translation Contest last year, continued her progress in the study of classics this academic year. While in classics department chairman Dr. Andrew Beer’s course on Virgil’s Aeneid, she wrote a paper, which he later encouraged her to revise and submit for consideration to the Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in Chicago.

She followed through on that suggestion and awaited the results. Beer’s encouragement ultimately paid off: Young was selected to present the paper, marking the second year in a row that a Christendom student has been selected in a prestigious, highly competitive contest at a major professional Classics conference.

“In my paper, I argue that Virgil presents an increasingly negative picture of the Trojans’ use of violence in the Aeneid, using the metaphor of hunting throughout the poem,” says Young. “The ‘seed’ of the paper resulted from a close reading of one hunting scene, and the idea evolved over the whole semester. My meetings with Dr. Beer as part of our Advanced Studies contract for the course were instrumental in helping me to craft my paper. Frequently discussing my research and my thoughts with Dr. Beer greatly helped me to develop my ideas into a scholarly argument. I am very grateful to Dr. Beer and many of my professors for giving me the tools — and the courage — to engage in today’s scholastic discussions.”

In addition to this accomplishment, Young also won a $250 cash prize at the advanced level for her work in the 2019-20 CAMWS National Latin Translation Contest. Christendom ultimately had a total of six prize winners in the contest amongst hundreds of competitors across the country, including Justin Corman, Sarah Scarhilli, Constance Weber, Matteo Stocco, and Mary Clare Kelly.

Christendom students place highly in the CAMWS’ national Latin translation contest each year, making the college one of the top classical language colleges in the country. This was evidenced in the accomplishments of the senior class as well, with three majors winning prestigious, highly competitive fellowships for graduate study following the completion of their undergraduate studies.

Theresa Crnkovich and Edith Lagarde both won fellowships for graduate study at the University of Notre Dame: Crnkovich in early Christian studies, Lagarde in history. Finally, Fernando Sanchez also won a Bridge to Doctorate Fellowship in classics at the University of Virginia, becoming one of the first post-baccalaureate students to win such a fellowship from the inaugural program.

This continues a streak of recent success the college’s classics majors have had in graduate programs in recent years, thanks to the assistance of the college’s dedicated faculty. From studying at Notre Dame, to the Catholic University of America, to the University of Virginia, these graduates are excelling in their studies post-Christendom, taking their hard work in studying the classics and using it to help restore the culture in Christ.

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