A Salutatorian Compendium

It’s that time of year again when some lucky graduand delivers a speech in Latin at some Ivy League university. First up is Charles C. Bridge at Harvard:

If you’d like the text, the APA blog has text and translation: Text and Translation of the Latin Oration Delivered at Harvard

Over at Princeton, Veronica Shi was given a nice profile in a university news release which included the following bit:

It was a course at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs on higher education policy, taught by Associate Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Daniel Oppenheimer, that prompted Shi to consider the role of promoting the study of classics.

“It got me thinking about the larger question of articulating the importance of the humanities,” Shi said. “I came to feel that being a responsible scholar of the classics involves knowing how to express to the public at large why this discipline, even though seemingly very rarified, is worth studying and making accessible to a wider audience.”

For Shi, part of the potency of classics is its endurance.

“Homer is almost 3,000 years old, and even today, we can still read and appreciate his poetry in the original language,” Shi said. “This ability to bridge a huge divide of culture and time is what really makes classics magical.”

Shi worked to bring that magic to the Princeton community earlier this year when she crafted a libretto in classical Latin for an original opera created by students called “Nero Artifex.” Watching the students onstage singing an entire opera in Latin was “remarkable,” Shi said.

“I hoped it would be a powerful argument for the idea that Latin isn’t a dead language,” she said. “Bringing the language to life and letting people hear it shows that it’s not mysterious and arcane, but something really beautiful.”

As can be seen from the date of that item, I’ve been sitting on it hoping that Shi’s oration would show up on Youtube vel simm., but alas, it doesn’t seem to be happening. But again, the APA has put up the text and translation of her Carmen Salutationis (wow!): Text and Translation of the Latin Oration Delivered at Princeton …. and wow again. I’ll keep looking for a Youtube version … I would have loved to see how Ms Shi delivered this.

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