Barbara Weiden Boyd Appointed Winkley Professor of Latin and Greek

Story posted April 11, 2001

Professor of Classics Barbara Weiden Boyd has been appointed to the Henry Winkley Professorship of Latin and Greek at Bowdoin College.

“The Winkley Professorship has a distinguished history in the teaching of classical subjects at Bowdoin College, and it is a privilege to recognize Barbara Weiden Boyd with this appointment,” said Robert H. Edwards, president of the College. “She has made notable scholarly contributions in her field and is a first-class teacher. She is an excellent choice to join the list of exceptional faculty members who have held this professorship.”

Boyd specializes in Latin poetry, especially the works of Vergil and Ovid. She has published widely on a variety of Roman writers, including Vergil, Propertius, Tibullus, Ovid, and Sallust. In addition to courses in Greek and Latin languages and literatures, she teaches courses on classical mythology, Augustan Rome, and the Roman family. She came to Bowdoin in 1980, and has served as the classics department chair for most of the 1990s.

“In naming Barbara Boyd to the Winkley Professorship, we particularly recognize her significant scholarly achievements, especially on the work of Ovid, and her wide-ranging and excellent teaching in Classics,” said Craig McEwen, Bowdoin’s dean for academic affairs. “Barbara has also contributed enormously to the College through her leadership of the Classics department and by her contributions to issues of faculty governance. At the same time, she has been deeply involved in supporting the teaching of Latin in high schools, through her Advanced Placement text on Vergil’s Aeneid and through work with the Educational Testing Service.”

A graduate of Manhattanville College, she did graduate work at Stanford University, and earned her master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Michigan. She has also traveled and studied extensively in Italy. She taught at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome as a visiting professor for Duke and Stanford universities, and has been a senior literature lecturer for the Classical Association of New England Summer Institute at Dartmouth College.

She is a recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, two Mellon Foundation Grants for Curriculum Development, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Stipendium for German Language Study.

Boyd is the author of Ovid’s Literary Loves: Influence and Innovation in the "Amores" (Univ. of Michigan Press, 1997) and Vergil’s Aeneid 10 and 12: Pallas and Turnus, a textbook and accompanying teacher’s guide (Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 1998; rpt. 1999). Forthcoming is Vergil’s Aeneid: Selections from Books 1, 2, 4, 6, 10 and 12, and A Companion to the Study of Ovid.

She has published in the Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Classical Quarterly, Transactions of the American Philological Association, Vergilius, American Journal of Philology, Phoenix, and Classical Philology. She has published many book reviews, served as a reviewer for colleagues’ manuscripts, and is a frequent presenter at national conferences.

Boyd was a consultant for the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education to evaluate the classics departments and major programs at the University of South Carolina and the College of Charleston. She has been a member of the Latin Advanced Placement Examination Development Committee, for which she also served as chair from 1993-97, the Managing Committee of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, and the Latin Achievement Test Committee for the Educational Testing Service. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Vergilian Society.

At Bowdoin Boyd has served on the Curriculum and Education Policy Committee (Secretary 1988-89) and the Recording Committee (which she chaired in 1999-2000). She currently chairs the Faculty Resources Committee. She directed the first Association of Bowdoin Friends reading group, and will lead an ABF tour of Sicily this spring.

The Winkley Professorship of Latin and Greek, established in 1880, honors Henry Winkley (1803-85). Born in Barrington, N.H., Henry Winkley attended district schools and Pembroke Academy. From a crockery store clerk job in Boston he advanced to the ownership of a highly successful china importing business with stores in New York and Philadelphia.

Winkley traveled and studied religious, social, and political economics. He made gifts with religious restrictions to many American colleges. The Bowdoin professorship was established by two Winkley gifts. The first, made in 1878, was unrestricted as to purpose. Two years later, he gave additional funds to endow the Winkley Professorship of the Latin Language and Literature “on condition that the College adhere to the theological teachings of the Orthodox Congregational or Presbyterian Church.” The theological conditions of the endowment were removed by a release authorized by a Winkley descendant in 1908.

Boyd is the eighth person named to the Winkley Professorship. Past Winkley professors were John Henry Wheeler (1881-82), Ernest Mondell Pease (1886-91), William Cranston Lawton (1891-92), William Addison Houghton (1892-1907), Kenneth Charles Morton Sills (1907-46), Paul Nixon (1946-52), and Nathan Dane II (1963-80).

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