Our undergraduate majors graduate with some of the highest GPAs in the Faculty of Arts and Science, and our language majors have won 22 awards in the CAC Greek and Latin Sight Translation Competitions in the last 12 years, with 12 honorable mentions. Undergraduate excellence was well demonstrated by 2019-20 Department Award Winners: Sandy Forsyth (All Souls Historical Essay Scholarship in Ancient History), Keating Johnson (C. B. Farrar Undergraduate Scholarship in Classics), Kevin McCart and Jakob Barnes (Chau/Chan Scholarships in Classics), Jennifer MacPherson (Dorothy Ellison Scholarship in Latin), Erica Venturo (Dorothy Ellison, 4T8, Graduating Scholarship in Latin, and W. B. Wiegand Prize in Ancient Greek), Erika Sakaguchi (Eric Trevor Owen Scholarship), and Paul Ionescu (Graham Campbell Fellowship in Memory of Maurice Hutton in Classics). Sheena McKeever was awarded the Harry C. Maynard Scholarship in Classical Studies by the Ontario Classical Association, Jakob Barnes won first place in the 2020 Senior Greek CAC Sight Exam competition, and Yilin Zhu won second place in the Senior Latin.
The Classics Students’ Union (CLASSU) provided superb service once again in 2020-2021, under the leadership of President Sydney Miller, Vice-President Sarah Ann Florio, Treasurer Hannah McCarthy, Secretary Karuna Sinha, and Senators Leah Gukathasan, Jacqueline Viner, Jess Dupuis, John Liao, Silas Sobeck, Sheena McKeever, Valen Trofimovaonce. The Summer Senate 2021 consists of Sarah Ann Florio (President), Karuna Sinha (Vice-President), and Jessika Dupuis, Saiba Anand, and Sheena McKeever (Senators).
Moving effectively to online platforms, CLASSU provided exceptional leadership in a challenging year. CLASSU energetically represented the department on Campus Day (for prospective UofT students) in October, initiated its own outreach event for interested high school students, sponsored a session for students interested in graduate studies, and organized two academic seminars with two speakers each time (Chiara Graf and Peter Heslin; J. Oliver and Flavia Vasconcellos Amaral).
The annual Assembly of the Plebs 2021, with a half dozen student presentations, occurred in March via Zoom and was attended by about 50 people from all over the world,. The 6th volume of student papers, Plebeian, was published, and the 7th edition is in the works. Copies of Plebeian and videos of publications can be found at the CLASSU website.
There were also creative social media initiatives. CLASSU TikTok videos found favor with over 40K global followers. Other successful initiatives were a CLASSU podcast (Sermo Vulgaris), movie nights, and virtual parties. CLASSU also stayed connected with Classics undergraduate students during Covid, initiating a survey on mental health. Once again, even in the annus horribilis, CLASSU demonstrated its essential role in the department.