While Latin classes have been a constant offering on the Culver Academies campus for decades, students had very few outlets in which to test their knowledge in the outside world until this year. That is when Ashley Butler SS’00 and fellow Latin instructor Hunter Wight formed Culver’s Junior Classical League chapter.
The Junior Classical League, commonly called Latin Club, operates at the state and national levels. It is also part of the network that includes the Senior Classical League for college students and the American Classical League for instructors. The organizations encourage the interest and appreciation of the language, literature, and culture of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Butler has been involved with the Indiana Junior Classical League for several years. She is the certamen (a quiz bowl type of competition) chair for the state, which means Culver will be participating in that competition next year.
“Since this is a new JCL chapter, it’s my goal to increase campus involvement little by little every year so that we can open things up to all who are interested in classical culture and Latin and Greek,” Butler said. There are currently 10 members of the Culver Latin Club.
Some of the events Culver students participated in during the school year included:
IJCL Leadership Development Academy
The one-day event focuses on developing leadership skills within IJCL members. The day allows students to make connections with other Latin students from around the state who are also focusing on being leaders in their respective high schools. Workshops and student-led sessions happen throughout the day, with the capstone event being a large group share-out about how the students spent their day and the concepts they were taking back to their schools.
IJCL State Convention
Sophomores Nyssa Brown (San Antonio, Texas), Beatrice Campbell (East Lansing, Mich.), freshman Frances Derrick (Decatur, Ill.), senior Emma Doherty (River Forest, Ill.), and junior Charlotte Root (Indianapolis) represented Culver at the weekend convention conducted at Indiana University in Bloomington. There were 324 high school and college Latin students who attended.
Culver representatives participated in academic, creative arts, and graphic arts contests, the certamen competition, publicity and membership contests. Every Culver student finished in the top three in at least one academic or art event, and Culver finished third overall in the small schools category.
National Latin Exam
The National Latin Exam provides every Latin student the opportunity to test their knowledge of the Latin language and culture. The questions cover grammar, comprehension, mythology, derivatives, literature, Roman life, history, geography, oral Latin, and Latin in use in the modern world.
This exam is administered throughout the United States, as well as other countries, including Australia, Japan, and Ghana. In their first year of taking the exam, 12 of the 34 students who participated earned national recognition, including three medalists. Daniel Hergan ’19 (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Shannon Master ’19 (Argos, Ind.) earned silver medals with the “maxima cum laude” distinction and Root earned a gold medal with the “summa cum laude” distinction.