Skip to main content

(Provided by David A. Reingold)

On Sun., March 25th, 2018, the College of Liberal Arts lost our dear colleague Professor Antonia Syson. Her friends and colleagues in the School of Languages and Cultures will remember Antonia for her passionate and intense dedication to all aspects of her work and for her exceptionally large laugh and cheerful whistling that brightened the hallways of Stanley Coulter.

Antonia received her BA with Honors from the University of Oxford in 1995, her MA in Latin from UC-Berkeley in 1997, and her PhD in Classics from UC-Berkeley in 2003. She joined the Classics faculty at Purdue in the School of Languages and Cultures in 2008. She authored the book Fama and Fiction in Vergil’s Aeneid, published in 2013 by Ohio State University Press. It was released in paperback last year. She was promoted with tenure in 2014. Antonia was a longtime chair of SLC’s community engagement project World Film Forum, and in 2014, Antonia was the lead coordinator on a grant from the Indiana Humanities Initiative that brought together K-12 and post-secondary teachers from across the state for the conference “Teaching the Past: Dissenting Histories in the Classroom.”

Antonia was deeply devoted to her students, to teaching and curriculum development, and to the liberal arts. She was one of the first faculty fellows of the Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts program, and she dedicated much time and energy to this initiative. In February, she was presented with the inaugural Cornerstone Teaching Award, which fittingly will be known as the Antonia Syson Cornerstone Teaching Award.

Antonia’s memorial service will take place on Sun., April 8th, at 1:30 p.m., in St. John’s Episcopal Church, 600 Ferry Street in Lafayette.

A moment of silence in Antonia’s memory is planned for the beginning of the CLA Faculty Senate meeting on Tues., April 17th, at 3:30 p.m. in WALC B091.

In lieu of flowers, donations to a charity that supports immigrants, such as the Greater Lafayette Immigrant Allies (, are requested. At this most difficult time, our thoughts are with Antonia’s loving family: her mother, Lucy Gaster; her stepfather, Nick Deakin; her sister, Lydia Syson; her brother, Luke Syson; her aunt, Polly Gaster; and her beloved nieces and nephews.


(Photo: "Candle" by Shawn Carpenter, licensed under CC BY 2.0)