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Honors Convocation Features Classics Scholar Jackson Bryce

May 21, 2012
By Jacob Cohn '13

Carleton College will hold its annual Honors Convocation, held on the last Friday of spring term to recognize faculty and students for their academic accomplishments and community service, on Friday, May 25 at 3 p.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. This year’s Honors Convocation featured speaker will be Jackson Bryce, the Marjorie Crabb Garbisch Professor of Classical Languages and the Liberal Arts. A cherished annual tradition at Carleton, Honors Convocation begins and ends with a full academic procession. During the ceremony, honor students and recipients of awards and grants will be recognized. Honors Convocation is free and open to the public.


Jackson Bryce is among Carleton’s longest-tenured professors, having joined the faculty in 1972. The Carleton College Marjorie Crabb Garbisch Professor of Classical Languages and the Liberal Arts, Bryce received his A.B. from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and his A.M. and Ph.D. in Classics from Harvard University.


As a professor of classics, his particular interests are in Roman literature and history, especially of the Christian era. His research specialty is the Roman rhetorician Lactantius, who wrote works about Christianity in a splendid classical style based on Cicero, and a fascinating poem about the Phoenix myth, which combines classical with Christian references. He has assembled a complete bibliography of Lactantius, conceived and designed as a web resource, the first such on the web in the field of classics. "The classics major," says Bryce, "is one of the most superb instruments in the liberal arts panoply, both as a means towards general human cultivation and as a path to many academic careers... a classics major is so quintessential an experience of the liberal arts because it includes a) extremely rigorous technical training, b) immersion in superb literature and art, c) sophisticated historical, philosophical and theological study. The field of classics, perhaps the oldest of academic fields, is also from a modern point of view the most experimental and novel in that it has always been an essentially interdisciplinary field..."


Additionally, Bryce leads a “double life” as an accomplished musical instructor and performer. Along with teaching the classics at Carleton, he is also a senior lecturer in bassoon and chamber music. Bryce studied with Kenneth Pasmanick, principal bassoonist of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. He was a founding member of the Washington Camerata, a chamber orchestra devoted to the performance of new music, and a member of the National Capital Woodwind Quintet in residence at American University. As a recitalist, soloist, and chamber and orchestral player, Bryce has performed in Washington, Boston, the Twin Cities, and southern Minnesota.

For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Office of College Relations at (507) 222-4308. Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street between College and Winona Streets in Northfield.