SPOKANE, Wash. – A new exhibit about the ancient world and the study of classical languages at Gonzaga University titled “Collegium Gonzagaeum: Celebrating the Classics at Gonzaga” is on display in the Rare Book Room at Gonzaga’s Foley Center Library through May 31. The exhibit is the first of its kind to result from student-faculty collaboration.
The exhibit showcases nearly 125 years of studying the classics at Gonzaga, where the teaching of Latin and Greek dates to the school’s founding in 1887. Covering more than 2,300 years of history, the exhibit contains an array of ancient objects, including Greek and Roman coins from the Permanent Collection of the Jundt Art Museum, rare editions of classical texts such as Virgil’s “Aeneid” from the Foley Rare Book Collection, and photographs, articles and more recent materials from the Gonzaga Archives.
A team of six students and five faculty and staff produced the exhibit to show the ebb and flow of classics at Gonzaga. The study of the classics – the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, especially their languages – has always held a special place at Gonzaga from its earliest days when students were expected to arrive knowing Latin and Greek fundamentals to today when a record numbers of students are choosing to major in classical civilizations.
This exhibit is primarily the work of the following classical civilizations majors: Brian Joyce, Leah Marley, Johnny Palmer, Tony Pierucci, Sydney Taylor and Brittany Taylor, with assistance from the following classical civilizations faculty: Professors Andrew Goldman, David Oosterhuis, and Revs. Fredric Schlatter, S.J., and Kenneth Krall, S. J. Gonzaga Special Collections Librarian Stephanie Plowman provided additional assistance.
The fellowship of students and faculty collaborating on the exhibit mirrors the typical experience of studying the classics at Gonzaga. The exhibit showcases the scholarly evidence of those individuals from throughout Gonzaga’s history who have worked to further classical studies. Texts from the past and present, both those used and created at Gonzaga, are on display. Members of Gonzaga’s classical history live through their writings and pictures.
As the school’s original seal reminds us, Gonzaga was founded as “Collegium Gonzagaeum Spokanense” – Gonzaga College, in Latin. Indeed, “collegium” is the most appropriate term for the exhibit since it also means a group of colleagues, and individuals collaborating with a common interest. This describes the study of classics at Gonzaga.
The exhibit is open weekdays from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Special Collections Librarian Stephanie Plowman at (509) 313-3847 or via e-mail.