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.”

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

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The automated system for the 2014-2015 SCS Placement Service is now open and accepting registrations by candidates, subscribers, and institutions.  As was the case last year, registrants will need to create an account and then purchase the service(s) they wish.  Registrants who used the Service last year may (but are not required to) adopt the same username and password as before; however, they will still need to create a new account.

Please read these detailed instructions for registering for the service and taking advantage of its features.

Publication of Listings.  Positions for Classicists and Archaeologists will be published around the 15th of each month as before.  Publication will consist of sending a digest of all positions listed during the previous 30 days to registered candidates, subscribers, and institutions that purchased comprehensive service.  In addition, a few days later, the job listings will become available for anyone to see. Note:  Because of the delayed opening of the Service this month, the July 2014 issue of Positions will be published around July 25.  Regular publication around the 15th of the month will begin with the August issue.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 07/15/2014 - 9:59am by Adam Blistein.

The Society for Classical Studies invites its members to volunteer to serve on committees or to stand for election for one of the offices that will appear on the ballot next summer, i.e., in 2015.  Visit this page of the web site to obtain more information about the offices and committees for which volunteers are invited.  July 31, 2014 is the deadline to submit the form for volunteers, a one-page letter describing your qualifications, and a C.V.  In completing the form, please be sure to rank order no more than three positions in which you are interested.  If you volunteer for elected office (Section I of the form.), we will forward your information to the Nominating Committee for consideration during its meetings this coming fall.  If you volunteer for committees filled by appointment, we will provide your materials to the President and to the appropriate vice president or committee chair who will invite members to fill vacancies by the end of 2014.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 07/15/2014 - 9:14am by Adam Blistein.

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View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 07/14/2014 - 10:51am by Adam Blistein.

From http://blackamericaweb.com/

William S. Scarborough was born a slave in Georgia, but went on to become one of the nation’s leading scholars in Greek and Latin literature.

In fact, many consider Scarborough to be the first African-American classical scholar. Born in February 16, 1852, in Macon, Georgia, Scarborough’s father was a freed slave but his mother was still enslaved, thus he inherited her status. Although educating slaves was against the law, Scarborough was secretly taught how to read and write in the classical languages.

He later went on to serve as an apprentice shoemaker, and then worked as a secretary at a well-known Black association because of his studies. Scarborough attended college at Atlanta University before heading to Oberlin where he graduated with honors in 1875.

Read more, or listen to the audio file at http://blackamericaweb.com/2014/07/01/little-known-black-history-fact-william-s-scarborough/

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Sun, 07/13/2014 - 5:43pm by Information Architect.

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Diagram visualizing novice vs. expert knowledge structuresExperts and novices mentally organize their knowledge in profoundly different ways.  By and large, even when we as students or teachers explicitly discuss and consciously implement knowledge acquisition processes — like flashcards, or declension drills — our mental systems of organizing the knowledge acquired are generally implicit and subconscious.  But the difference between expert and novice knowledge organizations has substantial consequences for effective ancient-language instruction.

View full article. | Posted in on Wed, 06/25/2014 - 8:39am by T. H. M. Gellar-Goad.

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 06/20/2014 - 10:12am by Adam Blistein.

The American Academy in Berlin invites applications for its residential fellowships for 2015/2016, as well as early applications for the academic years 2016/2017 and 2017/2018. The deadline is Monday, September 29, 2014 (12 pm EST or 6 pm CET). Applications may be submitted online or mailed to the Berlin office.
The Academy welcomes applications from emerging and established scholars and from writers and professionals who wish to engage in independent study in Berlin. Approximately 25 Berlin Prizes are conferred annually. Past recipients have included historians, economists, poets and novelists, journalists, legal scholars, anthropologists, musicologists, and public policy experts, among others. The Academy does not award fellowships in the natural sciences.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 06/18/2014 - 1:31pm by Adam Blistein.

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View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 06/16/2014 - 9:01am by Adam Blistein.

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We will need actors, stage crew, and helpers for this limited-rehearsal, staged reading. In the spirit of laissez le bon temps rouler, we welcome veterans and newcomers alike, and we embrace cross-gender casting. Rehearsals will begin on Tuesday afternoon (01/06), with subsequent rehearsals on Wednesday afternoon and evening (01/07), on Thursday afternoon (01/08), and one Friday rehearsal (01/09), as schedules permit; the performance will take place on Friday evening (01/09; 7 pm curtain).  Send an e-mail describing your interests and talents to karenrosenbecker@gmail.com and aspreesh@loyno.edu, by September 1, 2014. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 4:12pm by Adam Blistein.

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