In Memoriam: Lucy Turnbull

(From the University of Mississippi's website)

Former University of Mississippi professor Lucy Turnbull will always be remembered as a beloved educator who could make her curriculum both easy to understand and infinitely interesting to her students, a mentor and a champion of civil rights at Ole Miss.

Her enthusiasm for the classics was contagious, which propelled her students to success in her art history, archaeology, mythology and classical civilization courses. Turnbull, 87, of Oxford, joined the university faculty in 1961 and taught until 1990. She died Sunday (April 21).

Dewey Knight, recently retired UM associate director of the Center for Student Success and First-Year Experience, was one of Turnbull’s friends. He entered the university as a freshman in 1966 and found himself in one of her classes that year.

“She walked into the classroom that first day,” Knight said. “There were about 25 of us, and we were immediately very afraid of Professor Turnbull. She was incredibly intelligent. She could read Greek like we read English.

“We all were in fear of her, but we had the ultimate respect for her, because it was very obvious she was brilliant.”

Services for Turnbull are set for 11 a.m. Friday (April 26) at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford. A visitation will precede the service starting at 9 a.m. in the church’s Parish Hall.

Knight calls his former professor “one of the most important change agents” in the university’s history. Her biographical bullet points support that claim.

Born in Lancaster, Ohio, Turnbull earned a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Radcliffe. She was a John Williams White Fellow and Charles Eliot Norton Fellow at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. She was the author of many scholarly articles and contributed to books, mainly in the areas of Greek vase painting, mythology and poetry.

After holding positions as a museum assistant at Wellesley College and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, she joined the UM classics faculty in 1961, as a classical archaeologist.

“Teaching is very energizing, but I didn’t really understand that at the time,” she later recalled. “When you’re teaching, you’re giving something to the students, but they’re also giving back to you. I enjoyed it very much.”

Turnbull was active in the integration of Ole Miss in 1962, when James Meredith became the first black student to enroll at the university. She, as a relatively new faculty member, was among the professors who vocally supported Meredith pursuing his education at the university.

Provost Emeritus Gerald Walton, who joined the UM faculty in 1962, later recalled that the professors who supported integration as part of the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors held formal meetings. Turnbull was elected the group’s secretary.

“Those of us who supported integration became a kind of fraternal group and talked among ourselves a good deal,” Walton said in 2012. “It was good to learn that Lucy was one who did not mind speaking her mind even though we weren’t sure in those days how such people as board of trustees members or legislators – or members of the Ole Miss administration, for that matter – might act. Lucy was a brave woman.”

Meredith often found himself alone on campus. Knight remembers seeing a photo of his friend Turnbull having lunch in Johnson Commons with Meredith and UM professor James Silver, author of “Mississippi: The Closed Society,” surrounded by a sea of empty tables.

She also was an active member of the American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, Mississippi Council on Human Relations, National Geographic Society, Smithsonian Associates and the National Organization of Women, among other groups.

Turnbull helped establish the University Museum and served as its director toward the end of her career, from 1983 to 1990. Its opening was one of her favorite memories, as the Department of Classics‘ large collection of Greek and Roman antiquities was moved from Bondurant Hall to the museum, where they remain.

Turnbull’s classroom presence had a lasting effect on Knight, he said. The two became friends, and for 20 years, beginning in 1996, they jointly taught a Sunday school class at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, where Turnbull was a devoted member who will be memorialized there Friday.

Knight and his wife, Theresa, also were among those invited to “The Christmas Party” at Turnbull’s house each year, where she lived alone, having never married.

The parties, which Knight said she hosted for nearly 50 years, included a who’s who of the university’s liberal arts community and ornaments that Turnbull made by hand.

“The first time we got the invitation, it just said ‘The Christmas Party,’” Knight said. “We didn’t know what was happening. We finally ultimately realized it was a big event, and if you were invited to her house, you felt special.”

He will always remember Turnbull as one of the most important figures in the university’s history and a fierce advocate for the liberal arts education.

“I never met anybody who didn’t like Lucy,” Knight said. “She was just a really special person who was very opinionated and very principled. Even if you didn’t agree with her, you liked her.

“She was an unwavering force. She was a scholar, but she was also a quality person. She made the university better by being a part of it.”

---

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

Categories

Follow SCS News for information about the SCS and all things classical.

Use this field to search SCS News
Select a category from this list to limit the content on this page.

We have posted calls for abstracts from organizer-refereed panels and affiliated groups authorized to hold sessions at the 2016 annual meeting. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 10/07/2014 - 10:52am by Adam Blistein.

By the middle of October all members with valid e-mail addresses (except life members) will receive a message from the Johns Hopkins University Press offering them the opportunity to pay their dues online.  Later in the month, the Press will also mail a printed invoice. 

This summer the Board of Directors accepted a recommendation from the Finance Committee to increase dues.  This is the first increase in dues since 2011 and was implemented to keep dues levels in line with inflation rather than to bring in a substantial amount of new income.  In addition, the Board accepted the Committee’s recommendations that (a) the number of dues categories be reduced and (b) dues for members making $100,000 or more be calculated at a slightly higher rate than those for members at lower income levels.  Also, a new dues category, for members earning $160,000 or more, was established at the top of the salary range.  As a result of the new categories, dues for some members will decline slightly, and, except at the highest salary levels, no one’s dues will increase by more than $10.  Members who joined the society before 1980 and who have paid dues for 30 consecutive years are eligible for a lower dues rate.  That rate is now $64, the rate otherwise paid by members earning between $30,000 and $40,000.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 10/07/2014 - 10:10am by Adam Blistein.

Newberry Library Fellowships provide support to researchers who wish to use our collection. We promise you intriguing and often rare materials; a lively, interdisciplinary community of researchers; individual consultations on your research with staff curators, librarians, and other scholars; and an array of both scholarly and public programs. Applicants may apply for both Long- and Short- Term Fellowships within one academic year. All applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the Newberry’s online catalog and collection guides before applying.

We are now accepting applications for the 2015-16 academic year.  For more information, visit our website: www.newberry.org/fellowships

Long-Term Fellowships (Deadline: December 1, 2014).  Long-Term Fellowships are intended to support individual scholarly research and promote serious intellectual exchange through active participation in the Newberry’s scholarly activities. Applicants must hold a PhD at the time of application in order to eligible. Applicants may apply for 4 to 12 months of support, with a stipend of $4,200 per month. For more information, including a list of available Long-Term Fellowships, please visit www.newberry.org/long-term-fellowships.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 10/01/2014 - 4:07pm by Adam Blistein.

The Vergilian Society has published its list of tours to take place in Summer 2015

View full article. | Posted in Summer Programs on Wed, 10/01/2014 - 3:55pm by Adam Blistein.

Bella Vivante will lead this tour from July 13-28, 2015.  This Greek theatrical tour, in English, will explore in place the physical and dramatic origins of theatre in Ancient Greece. We will:

  • Visit ancient theatre sites and learn the principles of their construction.
  • Read select ancient Greek plays in English and explore ancient theatrical production.
  • View performances of ancient Greek plays, some in ancient theatres such as Epidauros, and discuss the elements of their modern productions.
  • Meet with contemporary Greek dramatists to discuss stagings of ancient Greek plays.
  • Give our own reading/performance in an ancient theatre.
  • Have time to relax, experience Greek culture, and savor scrumptious Greek food and drink!

We will visit sites and museums and view performances in and around our 2 bases of Athens and Nauplion.  The tour will include in Greece

  • Services of HERC (Hellenic Educational & Research Center)
  • Lodging: quality hotels w/ breakfasts
  • In-country travel: private, luxury buses
  • Museum & site entry fees
  • Performance tickets

For further information, write to: bvivante4@gmail.com

View full article. | Posted in Summer Programs on Wed, 10/01/2014 - 3:50pm by Adam Blistein.

Our colleagues at the American Classical League have sent us this message:   

On Saturday September 27, the ACL/JCL/ETC Office is moving. Its new address will be:

860 NW Washington Blvd.,
Suite A
Hamilton, OH  45013

The ACL's phone number and fax number, will remain the same:  513-529-7741 (phone) 513-529-7742 (fax).  During this period it may take us longer to process orders and respond to your messages. We will be transitioning phone service on Monday, Sept. 29; so, it may be best to email on Monday.  Once we are settled, we will create a 'virtual visit' so that you can see our new home.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 09/26/2014 - 9:15am by Adam Blistein.

In July’s column, I drew out some thematic similarities between the January 2014 movie The Legendary Hercules starring Kellan Lutz and the July 2014 movie Hercules (henceforth “Rockules”) starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  In this month’s column, I discuss Rockules as an adaptation of Steve Moore’s Hercules: The Thracian Wars comic books.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 09/25/2014 - 2:16am by T. H. M. Gellar-Goad.

Congratulations to SCS member (and Outreach Prize winner) Rob Ketterer of the University of Iowa who has received the Newberry Library—American Musicological Society Short Term Fellowship for 2014-15 to use the Library's resources for his project Early Opera, Ancient History, and European Relations with the Ottoman Empire.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:11pm by Adam Blistein.

The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is now offering a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Ancient Languages.  The certificate is designed for students who have completed their undergraduate degree and who would like to strengthen their language training in order to pursue graduate or advanced study in the fields of Classics, Ancient History, Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology, Biblical Studies, Egyptology, Historical Linguistics, Ancient Philosophy. 

More information at http://cams.la.psu.edu/news/ancient-languages-2013-a-new-post-baccalaureate-certificate-at-penn-state

View full article. | Posted in Degree and Certificate Programs on Wed, 09/10/2014 - 10:37am by Information Architect.

Pages

Latest Stories

SCS Announcements
The following members were elected in the
Classics in the News
SEARCH FOR EDITOR OF THE CLASSICAL OUTLOOK  
Awards and Fellowships
Calls for Papers
Experiencing Space: Passages from Antiquity to the Middle Ages VIII

© 2020, Society for Classical Studies Privacy Policy