First Slater Classics Lecture to Be Held at Mount Union College

April 07, 2010

Michele Valerie Ronnick, associate professor of classics, Greek and Latin at Wayne State University, will be speaking at Mount Union College for the first Thelma Tournay Slater Classics Lecture. The lecture will be held September 22 at 7 p.m. in Presser Recital Hall.


Ronnick's presentation entitled '13 Black Classicists' includes a photographic exhibit of the first generation of black scholars to study and teach the Greek and Latin classics in the African-American community during the decades following Emancipation. The exhibit includes classicists Edward Wilmot Blyden, Richard Theodore Greener, William Sanders Scarborough, James Monroe Gregory, Frazelia Campbell, Wiley Lane, William Henry Crogman, John Wesley Gilbert, Daniel Barclay Williams, Lewis Baxter Moore, Rueben Shannon Lovinggood and George Morton Lightfoot.

Ronnick earned a master of science in library science degree from Florida State University, a master of arts degree from the University of Florida and a doctoral degree from BostonUniversity. She is a member of numerous professional societies including the American Association for Neo-Latin Studies, the American Classical League and the International Society for the Classical Tradition. In 2002, she won Best Article of the Year from the Women's Classical Caucus, of which she is a member, for her article 'William Sanders Scarborough: The First African-American member of the Modern Language Association.'

Ronnick grew up in Sarasota, Florida and graduated from Sarasota High School in 1972. The city of Sarasota proclaimed March 12, 2005 as Michele Valerie Ronnick Day in honor of her many achievements. She currently lives in Detroit, Michigan.

The Thelma Tournay Slater Classics Lecture is made possible through a gift of Thelma E. (Tournay '42) Slater. Her lifelong passion for the classics began at Mount Union College. The gift supports student enrichment through an increased appreciation of the civilization and cultural achievements of ancient Greek and Rome that stand at the core of a liberal arts education.

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