Dr. McRae Amoss

Dr. McRae Amoss has taken on the challenge of reintroducing Latin to the Longwood curriculum. 

After nearly 40 years, Latin is back at Longwood, with the first course scheduled to be offered this fall.

A staple of liberal arts curricula across the world, Latin provides not only a deeper understanding of the English language but also is a rigorous addition to the course catalog that holds appeal for students.

“There are still a good many students in Virginia, maybe more than in other states, who study Latin in high school,” said Dr. McRae Amoss, a professor of French and 19th-century French culture who has taken on the challenge of reintroducing Latin.

The purpose of this initiative is to permit students who have had Latin in high school to continue with the language and complete requirements for graduation here at Longwood. Once we get this off the ground, we’ll offer two courses per academic year.”

Even though some may not see the relevance of studying Latin in the 21st century, Amoss has no doubts.

“At least half of the English vocabulary, after all, comes from Latin either directly or indirectly,” said the 27-year veteran of the Longwood faculty. “So having a working knowledge of the language and the roots and meanings of words can make someone a much more effective and eloquent communicator, no matter their profession.” 

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