Deo ac Veritati: Pursuing the Classics at Colgate

This exhibition is the culmination of student research conducted as part of a Bicentennial Seminar, CLAS 313: The Classics and the History of Colgate University, in the spring of 2017. In celebration of the school’s 200th anniversary, the students traced the evolution of the Classics from the inception of the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution to Colgate University today.

The exhibition, Deo Ac Veritati: Pursuing the Classics at Colgate, was curated by the following students:

Megan Delaney '17, Emily Haines '17,

Olivia Haller '18, Erica Hiddink '17,

Michael Holobosky '19, Emma Johnson '17,

Daniel Mahoney '18, Terence Sino '17,

With Professor Rebecca Ammerman

The website was created by Megan Delaney '17, Erica Hiddink '17, and Michael Holobosky '19

Exhibit installation in Case library.

Photo By Emily Haines '17.

Label construction in Document Services.

Photo by Rebecca Ammerman.

Exhibit installation in Case library.

Photo By Emily Haines '17.

Homer's second Odyssey.

Photo by Rebecca Ammerman.

What is the Classics?

The study of the Classics encompasses the thought, culture, and history of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Today, the Department of the Classics at Colgate seeks to approach the ancient world from every angle. Language, mythology, art, tragedy, archaeology, philosophy, religion, politics, history, and many other disciplines are explored in order to develop a fuller, more nuanced, understanding of the ancient world. This interdisciplinary approach emphasizes the diverse perspectives from which students of the Classics may gain insight into the past and reflect upon its implications for the present.

The remains of antiquity can be found everywhere, yet many question the value that knowledge of the Graeco-Roman world holds for modern society. Classicists are constantly forced to defend their studies, as Mary Beard does in her book, Classics: A Very Short Introduction:

Classics is a subject that exists in that gap between us and the world of the Greeks and Romans. The questions raised by Classics are the questions raised by our distance from ‘their’ world, and at the same time by our closeness to it, and by its familiarity to us. In our museums, in our literature, languages, culture, and ways of thinking. The aim of Classics is not only to discover or uncover the ancient world. . . Its aim is also to define and debate our relationship to that world.1

The study of the Classics has grown and developed into an interdisciplinary field through which we strive to close the gap between the Classical world and our own. This exhibition traces the student experience at Colgate and attempts to close the gap between the earliest students at the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution and the students of today. While the prominence of the Classics has waxed and waned throughout the history of Colgate University, the enterprise overall has remained consistent, as students have always been dedicated to uncovering truths about the Classical past. The exhibition highlights the dynamic nature of this pursuit of the study of the Classics at Colgate and the challenges it faced along the way.

1Beard, Mary and John Henderson. Classics: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 1995. 5-6.

This exhibit would not have been possible without the support of the following individuals and local merchants:

Joanne Schneider, University Librarian,             Case Library

Sarah Keen, University Archivist, and Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Case Library

Emily Brock, Digital History Project Manager, Case Library

Alli Grim, Conservation Technician, Case Library

Erin Patterson, Processing Archivist,                 Case Library

Noah François '20 and Paul Jung '20, student digitization assistants, Special Collections and University Archives, Case Library

Wendy Falls, Administrative Assistant to the University Librarians

Adger Williams, Cataloging Manager,              Case Library

Erika Mueller, Reserve Coordinator,  Case Library


Bonnie Kupris, Circulation and Electronic Reserves Coordinator, Case Library

Darlene Virgil, Interlibrary Loan Coordinator, Case Library

Joe Eakin, Technical Director & Designer-Ho Tung Visualization Laboratory and Planetarium

Rich Grant, Associate Director, Academic Digital Media and Production, Geyer Center for Information Technology

Douglas Higgins, Instructional Designer - Maker Education, Geyer Center for Information Technology

Mark Hine, Director, Classrooms, Media and Events, Geyer Center for Information Technology

Scott Lewis, Preparator,  Picker Art Gallery

Jeff Golley, Andy Vasquez, Mike Murray,   Facilities Department

The Sympathetic Staff of Document Services

Constance Harsh, Dean of the Faculty,           Colgate University

Beth MacKinnon, Administrative Assistant, Department of the Classics and Division of the Arts and Humanities

James Allen Smith, CU '70 Vice President and Director of Research and Education, Rockefeller Archive Center

Richard Miller of Coyote Crossing, Texas

Sandy and Burt Rolewicz of Just Like Grandma’s, Vernon, NY

Lynn and Michael Harvey of Victorian Rose Vintage, Bouckville, NY

Judy McCarthy of Copper City Antiques, Bouckville, NY

Darlene and Bob Virgil of Canal House Antiques, Bouckville, NY

Antique Pavilion, Bouckville, NY