Monmouth College Classics Department

The Monmouth Classics Department is a vibrant and supportive community that pursues understanding of

A Novel Approach 12/16/2022

Two students who are heavily involved in Classics were also heavily involved in novel-writing in November! As the article linked below details, Kestrel Woeltje '23 (Classics and English major) and Jan Abel '24 (Classics Club president; English and Public Relations major) were two of the three Monmouth students who got at least 50,000 words of novels written in November as part of National Novel Writing Monmouth. Way to produce, Kestrel and Jan!

A Novel Approach Trio of students wrote 50,000 words each in November during National Novel Writing Month.


A notice of the death (in August) of retired faculty member Ginny Hellenga appeared in the most recent Monmouth Magazine. Ginny was a beloved figure at the College who inspired many students through her passionate approach to the Classics and life. Monmouth College and Monmouth Classics were fortunate to have had her influence here.


Classics employee appreciation lunch at Patton Block yesterday! These are the people (student employees Grace Passaglia, Todd Fowler, Sam Stoyanoff, Megan Dailey, and Rahm Pandey, and Wallace Hall administrative assistant Caitlin Eberle) who are doing much of the work that makes it feasible to offer the range of classes Classics does, to offer all of the multi-award-winning programming that Classics does, and to provide the tutoring that keeps lots of students on track. Without their knowledge-driven ownership of so many of the ideas, creative and skilled generation of so many of the documents/presentations/Facebook content/bulletin board materials, and general enthusiasm for the mission of this department, it would not work. This is a department that "punches above its weight," and these are the front-line folks (supported by many others who pitch in energetically in a variety of ways) who keep us "punching."

Photos from Monmouth College Classics Department's post 12/04/2022

Christmas at Monmouth was absolutely beautiful tonight, and a bunch of Classics students played important parts in it. In the various groups that performed, senior majors Grace Passaglia and Bailey Shimmin played alto saxophone and flute, respectively; senior minor Dylan Prentiss played French horn; senior minor Patrick Johnston sang bass; junior minor Sa Moore played violin; and junior Classics Club vice president Larissa Pothoven played flute. We value and respect all of the ways that these talented individuals bring the campus to life.

Photos from Monmouth College Classics Department's post 12/03/2022

Another fun Cider with Classics, this one the Christmas/Saturnalia edition. Grace Passaglia and Megan Dailey again set up and presented the educational content, the activities, and the room decorations, and a bunch of Classics fanciers brought their energy and their eagerness to sing Christmas carols in Latin and Greek and decorate cookies and paper ornaments with seasonal language and imagery of the Latin/Greek/Saturnalia variety. Lots of smiles and laughter :).


Make sure to join us today from 3-3:50pm in Wallace 102 for our Saturnalia/Christmas celebration!

ALL ARE WELCOME! We would love to see you there!

The Aeneid and the Modern World: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Vergil’s Epic in the 20th and 21st Centuries 11/29/2022

Classics and History alumnus Joe O'Neill '98 recently had a book released by Routledge Press! He co-edited "The Aeneid and the Modern World: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Vergil's Epic in the 20th and 21st Centuries" and contributed the introduction and another chapter to the volume. Well done, Joe! Joe is a Senior Lecturer and Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University.

The Aeneid and the Modern World: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Vergil’s Epic in the 20th and 21st Centuries This collection of essays from a diverse group of scholars represents a multidisciplinary redeployment of the Aeneid that aims to illuminate its importance to our present moment. It provides a rigorous and multifaceted answer to the question,


Classics and History alum Neil Dahlstrom '98 has won a 2022 Best Book Award in the History: General category from American Book Fest for his recent book "Tractor Wars." Well done, Neil!

Tractor Wars has been awarded the 2022 American Book Fest award for Best History-General! I cannot be more excited for this honor amidst many incredible books.

Photos from Monmouth College's post 11/19/2022

The College spotlighted Prof. Simmons in its brief "Meet the Scots" profile this week. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out.

Photos from Monmouth College Classics Department's post 11/11/2022

Dr. Sinclair Bell of Northern Illinois University gave an electric Sienkewicz Lecture on Thursday night, Nov. 10, titled “Race, ‘Racism,’ and Representation in Roman Art: Aethiopians in the Visual Arts of the Roman World.” 85 audience members packed Pattee Auditorium to absorb the talk. We are thankful for the endowment of the Sienkewicz Lecture that allows the department to bring in some of the nation’s most innovative and thought-provoking scholars to share their work with the Monmouth College community.


We are excited to announce that Jeff Schnetzler '25 has signed on as a Classics major! Jeff is also a Social Science Education major, is part of the TARTANS program in the Educational Studies Department, and is a History minor. Outside of classes, he is also an excellent thrower (shotput, discus, 35-pound weight, and hammer) on the track and field team, for which he was Academic All-Midwest Conference last spring. Jeff has already been heavily involved in Classics events, has taken active part in the planning for the national Eta Sigma Phi meeting that we will be hosting in the spring, and is signed up for the winter Greece trip. Welcome to the major, Jeff!


Classics community: Prof. Simmons is handling out treats in his office (Wallace 21) from now until about 2:45 this afternoon. Feel free to stop by! You don't need to have a costume, but Prof. Simmons has one--he is STUCK IN HIS HIGH SCHOOL GLORY YEARS :)!


Thanks to Classics alum John Cotter '19 for the donation of a couple of boxes of Classics books that he acquired during his Monmouth College years. They'll be added to the collection in Wallace 115, once one of our excellent student workers is able to fit in the proper placement of the books on the shelves there. John was a dedicated Classics student, an Eta Sigma Phi initiate, and a critical planner and organizer of the national-award-winning Classics Day IV in 2018, and we appreciate his sharing of some of the texts that inspired him with future generations of Monmouth Classics students. He is now putting his skills to work with the IRS in Kansas City, where he was recently promoted to a supervisory position. Thanks to John's father, Board of Trustees member Dan Cotter '88, for bringing the books to Monmouth while coming here to contribute to the College's Moot Court event.

Photos from Monmouth College Classics Department's post 10/28/2022

Another fun Cider with Classics, this one the Halloween edition. Grace Passaglia '23 gathered interesting ancient ghost stories and material on ancient amulets and curse tables, and Megan Dailey '25 shared the material and coordinated construction of amulets and curse tablets, after she and Caitlin Eberle decorated the room spookily. Thanks also to Caitlin for designing a winning promotional flyer for the event, and Gary Bonifer for photo-documenting it.


Make sure to come see us today!! All are welcome!


Where is Prof. Simmons this weekend? At the annual meeting of the Illinois Classical Conference, hosted this year by Rockford University. As the organization's vice president, he organized the meeting's program, publicized the meeting, coordinated registration at it, and worked with the local hosts to handle all logistics. At the conclusion of this meeting, Prof. Simmons moves into a two-year term as president of the organization.


The Classics Club's entry in the Homecoming parade on Saturday WON! Thanks to all of the marchers (among them Megan Dailey, Satyr Keeling, Jenn Ruscitti, Jeff Schnetzler, Jimmy Woeltje, and Kestrel Woeltje), thanks to Classics Club president Jan Abel for organizing the effort, thanks to Megan Dailey for her recruitment efforts and for our glorious sign, and thanks to Grace Passaglia for arranging clothing for lots of marchers and for photodocumenting the event (see her pictures at ). The spirit and commitment of these people are off the charts.

Photos from Monmouth College Classics Department's post 10/01/2022

Homecoming '22 was a ton of fun for Classics. Classics Club president Jan Abel '24 and Classics majors Megan Dailey '25 and Grace Passaglia '23 organized a bunch of people to march in the parade in classical garb, in line with the parade's theme of "Mythology." I swear, Classics has THE coolest students in the world. And Prof. Simmons ran into a bunch of former Classics majors and minors who came back to campus: Stacy Stoyanoff '91, Aaron Kimzey '20, Kayla Beadles '17, Sharon Kuhlemier '20, Mikayla Moore '22, and Mel Fairand '22, most of whom are pictured below. It is totally rewarding to have all of these awesome, motivated, principled people as a part of my life.


Alumnae/i/a, Prof. Emeritus Tom Sienkewicz is with Prof. Simmons in the Classics reception room (Wallace 102) this (Saturday) morning until around noon. Come see us!


Slight correction for Homecoming Day (Saturday): I (Prof. Simmons) will need to leave Wallace 102 just before noon. I will be there starting at 10:30, though (after the parade). See you then!

Homecoming 09/29/2022

It's Homecoming this weekend! I (Prof. Simmons) want to see alumnae/alumni/alumna who are coming back to campus! I'll be in Wallace 102 from 10:30-12:30 Saturday morning, ready to welcome any of you who want to stop in. If you can't make that time, please contact me about gathering some other time this weekend. For that matter, whenever you can make it back, I am ALWAYS glad to see you. Please feel free to reach out.

Homecoming The tradition of Monmouth College Homecoming, and all the Fighting Scot spirit associated with it, returns Sept. 30-Oct. 1. Plan to come back to campus and revel in what makes Monmouth College special. We will honor the undefeated 1972 conference champion football team at our inaugural Fighting Scot...

Ovid in China 09/28/2022

Emeritus professor Tom Sienkewicz has recently had a book, Ovid in China: Reception, Translation and Comparison, published with Brill Academic Press. Dr. Sienkewicz co-edited the volume with Jinyu Liu, Professor of Classical Studies at DePauw University. This is a big deal; a book like this is a massive, years-long undertaking, and its publication by a respected press is a significant accomplishment. Read more about the book here:
Congratulations, Dr. Sienkewicz!

Ovid in China Monmouth emeritus classics professor Thomas J. Sienkewicz is co-editor of new book on Roman poet.


It was great to see Mikayla Moore '22 (Classics and Communication Studies) back on campus Friday! She is pictured in front of one of the bulletin boards that she lovingly maintained for three years as a Classics student worker. She is putting her Monmouth education to work at Illinois Wesleyan as the Assistant Director of Annual Giving and as an assistant cross country coach, and she is enjoying her post-collegiate life in Bloomington. We are always happy to engage with our alumnae/i/a on campus, and next weekend (Homecoming: Sept. 30-Oct. 2) is a particularly great time for such a return! Prof. Simmons will be in Wallace 102 from 10:30-12:30 on Saturday, and he is open to other opportunities to interact. Reach out! Come back!

Cider and Classics with Neil Dahlstrom '98 09/24/2022

Neil Dahlstrom '98 (Classics and History), director of museums/libraries/archives/history/etc. for John Deere, was on campus and in town yesterday to share some highlights of his most recent book, Tractor Wars, at the Warren County History at night, and, in the afternoon, to share with more than 20 Monmouth students the path that he took to get to where he is now. He was great at both. Monmouth Classics is proud of how he is putting his liberal arts training to work, and of how well he represents the school. Thanks to Emilee Renwick Caba for photodocumenting the Cider with Classics visit, and to Caitlin Eberle for promoting it.

Cider and Classics with Neil Dahlstrom '98 Explore this photo album by Monmouth College on Flickr!

Photos from Monmouth College Classics Department's post 09/23/2022

We can't wait to see you today at 3pm in Wallace 102 for our Cider with Classics event!! ALL ARE WELCOME & BRING A FRIEND!

Make sure to also join us tonight at 7pm at the Warren County History Museum as our Cider with Classics special guest Author Neil Dahlstrom, dives into his new book 'Tractor Wars', and gives us a deeper look into the history of modern agriculture in the region.

You won't want to miss any of this TODAY!

Walker, Rech Lead Scots to 11-0 Win - Monmouth College Athletics 09/18/2022

Record-setting weekend for Classics major Lynn Rech '25. Not only did they score a hat trick in the soccer team's victory today, they had FOUR assists in the victory Saturday, which is a single-game team record. Way to go, Lynn!

Walker, Rech Lead Scots to 11-0 Win - Monmouth College Athletics The Monmouth College women's soccer team continued their non-conference play with an 11-0 win against Maranatha Baptist in Wisconsin on Saturday. Forward Madison Walker (Vernon Hills, Illinois) scored four goals and Lynn Rech (Vacaville, California) had a Monmouth single-game record four assists as....


Classics fall picnic! Lots of fun. Not pictured: games of croquet, co****le, horseshoes, bocce ball, and badminton, and stories of preserved monkeys in HT, smuggling illegal contraband through Checkpoint Charlie, and the various stupid ways in which we in the Most Dangerous of Departments have managed to injure ourselves :).


Aaron Kimzey '20 not only piped skillfully at the Prime Beef Festival parade today, but did so as the interim director of the bagpipe band this year! He will serve in that role as Prof. Tim Tibbetts is on sabbatical this year. Piping is just one of Aaron's many talents.


Classics major Lynn Rech '25's big game at Rockford last Thursday (1 goal, 1 assist) led to them being named the Midwest Conference Offensive Performer of the Week! Great student, great athlete.

Congrats to forward Lynn Rech on being named Offensive Performer of the Week! Lynn had one goal and one assist for the Scots last week

Photos from Monmouth College Classics Department's post 09/03/2022

Classics and Comm. Studies alumna Mikayla Moore '22 is not just the Assistant Director of Annual Giving at Illinois Wesleyan, but is also an assistant cross country coach at the school. Mik ran into Monmouth's cross country coaches (Brady Hunt and Kenzie Baker) at a meet yesterday that IWU hosted and at which Monmouth competed. It is gratifying to see Mik put not just her Monmouth academic training, but also her athletic training (she was a star middle distance runner here), to work in these meaningful ways.

Rech, Gould Score in Scots Win - Monmouth College Athletics 09/02/2022

Classics major Lynn Rech '25 scored the Scots' first goal of the season in their win against Rockford this afternoon! Lynn is no stranger to blowing shots past goalies at the college level, having done so eight times last year for Sarah Lawrence. Way to be a great student-athlete, Lynn!

Rech, Gould Score in Scots Win - Monmouth College Athletics The Monmouth College women's soccer team got the season off to a great start with a 2-1 win on Thursday morning at Rockford.


Classics is thrilled to have Lynn Rech ’25 join us as a major! Lynn is also a forward for the soccer team. Lynn grew up in Vacaville, CA, and they have come to Monmouth after a year at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Please welcome Lynn to the Classics community!


It was such a delight to see a bunch of Classics majors, minors, and other interested students at Classics' ScotStart Day meeting! It is energizing to see all of these eager people again, ready for another year of learning and accomplishment. It's a big year ahead for Classics!


We are delighted to announce that Kailyn Gore ’26 has added a Classics major! She is also majoring in International Studies. Kailyn has already been recognized on Monmouth media through through an article about her having earned a Trustees’ Scholarship ( and another about her having discovered Monmouth through her high school Latin teacher in New Jersey, Matthew Underwood, who himself is a Monmouth Classics graduate ( Kailyn is signed up for the trip to Greece and has been involved in planning for the Eta Sigma Phi meeting that we are hosting this coming spring. Please welcome Kailyn to the Classics community!


Some of you may recall that, when Monmouth-Roseville High School's Latin program faced closure in Spring 2019, Monmouth Classics spearheaded the effort to save it. Prof. Bob Holschuh Simmons wrote a blog post for the national Classics organization on the factors that contributed to the effort's success: Recent graduate Olivia Matlock is taking a graduate Latin Pedagogy class this summer with other current and aspiring Latin teachers from across the nation through the American Classical League, and her class was assigned to read that blog post! Some of the things we do locally can reverberate nationally. Thanks to Olivia for pointing this out!

Virginia 'Ginny' Hellenga 08/05/2022

I am sorry to announce that Professor Virginia Hellenga, who taught Classics at Monmouth from 1994-2010, died earlier this week. She was a lively, caring, beloved faculty member, and she made Monmouth a better place. Her obituary is below. Anyone wishing for a physical or email address through which to contact Ginny's children may send a direct message to this site.

Virginia 'Ginny' Hellenga Virginia “Ginny” Hellenga died on Aug. 3, 2022, in Knoxville, Illinois, at age 79.


Mikayla Moore '22 started a new job this week! She is putting her Classics and Communication Studies degrees to work as Assistant Director of Annual Giving in the Development Office at Illinois Wesleyan University. Good luck, Mik!

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