Eta Sigma Phi (National Classics Honor Society)

Eta Sigma Phi is the national undergraduate honor society for students of ancient Greek and Latin. Here at Northwestern, Eta Sigma Phi is an active student group that sponsors intellectual and social events, trips to Chicago theaters and museums, free film screenings on campus, and an annual celebration and prize award ceremony.

Nationally, the purposes of Eta Sigma Phi are "to develop and promote interest in classical study among the students of colleges and universities; to promote closer fraternal relationship among students who are interested in classical study, including inter-campus relationship; to engage generally in an effort to stimulate interest in classical study, and in the history, art, and literature of ancient Greece and Rome."

The national organization awards scholarships and translation prizes each year, and sponsors a convention in late March. The Beta chapter here at Northwestern offers weekly language tutoring workshops and provides a forum in which students with an interest in Classics can interact with both their professors and their peers outside of class, forming closer, more informal relationships. Students interested in study abroad in Greece or Italy are advised to become active in Eta Sigma Phi. Applicants for membership must have earned at least the grade of 'B' in at least two quarters of Latin and/or ancient Greek.

For more information about the national organization, visit Eta Sigma Phi's website.

For more information about Eta Sigma Phi at Northwestern, please contacteither of the co-presidents for 2013-14, Maria Kovalchuk or Brian Earl . Other officers for 2013-14 are Sam Howes (vice president), Arpan Patel (secretary/treasurer), and Michael Lamble (herald). ESP's faculty advisor is John Schafer.

Update on Eta Sigma Phi activities, 2013-14

Eta Sigma Phi, a vibrant community of classics majors and minors, has had a successful year, hosting many events in addition to weekly meetings. Students and professors alike laughed and chatted through informal evenings for students and faculty to interact outside of the classroom.

In February 2013, Emeritus Professor Daniel Garrison (pictured below) shared his groundbreaking research on classical medicine and the medieval anatomist Vesalius with an audience of over twenty students and faculty members. 

This academic year, students competed against each other pitilessly in a trivia match, tested their art skills in a “Classics Pictionary” party, saw the movie Pompeii with Classics faculty, and enjoyed each other’s company at a Nutella-themed symposium.

Eta Sigma Phi has continued its tradition of producing the Classics Department Calendar, inserting Classics professors and staff into classically-themed artwork. For example, Professor Garrison and his dog Brando entered the streets of Athens as Diogenes the Cynic and his dog.