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Department of Classics
University of Mississippi

Late 20th Century and Beyond . . .

In 1980, Robert A. Moysey was hired as Assistant Professor of Classics with a specialization in ancient history. He received his B.A. with high honors at the University of Cincinnati and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton. He previously taught at Hamilton College and the University of Delaware. Dr. Moysey teaches Greek and Roman history as well as Greek and Latin and has research interests in Greek and Greco-Persian history, in Greek epigraphy and numismatics. He is the author of seventeen published works in those fields. His chief publication is a study of coins minted at Tarsus in Cilicia which was published by the American Numismatic Society. He serves on the Managing Committee of the American School at Athens and the Advisory Committee of the American Academy in Rome. He has been a member of the advisory board of the University of Oklahoma Press Series on Classical Culture. He was promoted to Professor in 1990 and was made Chair in 1994. He retired in 2004.

Mrs. Sheila Hood was first appointed as Instructor of Latin in 1983. She was educated at Mercer University and received an M.A. from Ohio State University. Mrs. Hood has taught Latin in several high schools including Jackson Preparatory School in Jackson, Mississippi. She resigned in 1996 because she and her husband moved to Florida. She also served as Acting Director of the Career Center.

During the 1994-95 academic year, Dr. Frank Russell was Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics. He received his B.A. at Loyola Marymount University and his M.A. and Ph.D. at UCLA. He left Mississippi to teach at Dartmouth College and then Transylvania University.

During 1995-1996 Dr. David Driscoll was Assistant Professor of Classics. Dr. Driscoll received his B.A. in Greek from Vassar College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Classics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He had previously taught at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.

Joining the faculty as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in 1996 was Dr. Aileen Ajootian, who received her Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College. She had taught at Cleveland State University, the University of Oregon, McMaster University and College Year in Athens. Dr. Ajootian became Chairperson in 2004, and the department has grown significantly under her leadership. She has published widely on the material remains of ancient Greece. In 2012 she was promoted to Full Professor.

Dr. James Barrett also joined the department in 1996, having received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and having taught there and at Colby College. He left the University of Mississippi for Colby College in 1999.

In 1984, James C. Rubright, an M.A. student of Professor Robinson in the 1950s, went on to become a professor of art history at Ohio State, bequeathed to the University $20,000 for a graduate fellowship in Classics. Today the Lipsey-Rubright Fellowship fund has a principal of more than $29,000 and numerous graduate students have benefited from the support it provides. In 1997, Professor Robert N. Leavell, Alumni Association Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Georgia, established the Way, Jackson and Leavell Awards for the Study of the Classics which provide $1,000 per year for an undergraduate Classics major. The award honors three long-time Latin teachers: Dr. Evelyn Way, former Chair of the Department of Classics at the University of Mississippi, Miss Harriet Jackson and Mrs. Grace Farley Leavell who taught at University High School.

In January, 1997, the Department of Classics moved its offices to the third floor of the McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College. Also, during the 1996-1997 academic year the department received contributions through the Ventress Order of the College of Liberal Arts and books from Mr. Leonard S. Kraemer of Jackson, Mississippi.

In 2002 Dr. Jonathan Fenno joined the Department of Classics. He had taught at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, after earning a Ph.D. in Classics from UCLA. He has published several articles on Greek poetry, especially Homer and Pindar. Dr. Fenno was promoted to Associate Professor in 2008.

During the 2002-2003 academic year, Dr. Thomas Kohn was Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He subsequently taught at the University of Richmond, the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, and Wayne State University.

In 2003 Dr. Edward Gutting joined the faculty of the University of Mississippi, after leading the Classics program at Virginia Wesleyan College. He had earned his doctorate from Princeton University, having written a dissertation on Vergil’s Aeneid. He has also published on the Homeric scholia.  He left the University for Missouri State University in 2008.

In 2004 the Department welcomed Dr. John Lobur to the University. He had earned his Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Michigan, with a specialization in Ancient History. In 2008 his revised dissertation was published by Routledge as a book on Roman Imperial Ideology. He has also published an article on the topic. Dr. Lobur was promoted to Associate Professor in 2009.

During the academic year 2004-2005, David A. Webb served the Department as an Adjunct Instructor of Classics, and taught summer courses on numerous occasions through 2013. He earned an M.A. in Classics from the University of Mississippi and did coursework toward as Ph.D. at University of Missouri.  He has taught Latin and Greek at the Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock, Arkansas since 2007.

In 2006 Dr. Molly Pasco-Pranger became a member of the Department, having taught previously at Wesleyan University and the University of Puget Sound. She had earned her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. In 2006 her book on Ovid’s Fasti and the Roman calendar was published by Brill, and several articles of hers on the subject have also appeared in print. Dr. Pasco-Pranger was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011 and began serving as Chair in 2013.

In March of 2007, the Department of Classics happily moved to new offices in Bryant Hall, which had just been beautifully renovated.

The Department was very pleased in 2009 to accept a generous endowment of $500,000 from UM alumni Mike and Mary McDonnell of Memphis.  The first priority for the proceeds of this endowment is to facilitate student study abroad experiences, and several students each year since have benefited enormously from its support.

In Fall of 2011, Dr. Brad Cook joined the Department of Classics, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015.

Dr. Hilary Becker joined the Department in 2012.