Scholarship win a first for York

Kevin Lawson, a fourth-year classics major at York who is studying in Germany this academic year, has received a key honour from the Ontario Classical Association (OCA). He has won this year’s OCA Harry C. Maynard Scholarship for Travel Abroad, valued at approximately $3,500.

Right: Jonathan Edmondson

“This is one of only two awards made by the Ontario Classical Association each year,” said one of Lawson’s proud teachers, Jonathan Edmondson, professor of history in the Faculty of Arts.

“The award is a significant achievement for Kevin Lawson and it also reflects well on York’s Program in Classical Studies,” said Edmondson. “It is the first time a York student has won the award in the 10 years it has been available, and Kevin is a very worthy winner. He has had a distinguished undergraduate career at York and plans to go on to do graduate work in classical studies.

“Kevin won the York Classics Prize in 2002, awarded to the most promising continuing student in the program,” continued Edmondson, “and this year he is studying at the University of Tübingen on the Ontario/Baden-Württemberg University Student Exchange Program. Since the 1999-2000 academic year, he has gained As and one A+ on all his courses bar one, where he gained a B+. He’s a dynamic student in the classroom and practises his considerable language skills in multilingual e-mails to his professors, including some written in Latin.”

Edmondson said the Harry C. Maynard scholarship has already allowed Lawson to visit Rome for the first time, and he now plans on participating in the University of Tübingen’s field-trip to Sicily this coming summer.

About the Harry C. Maynard Scholarships Program

The scholarships program was established by the trustees of the estate of the late Harry C. Maynard, for many years a teacher of classics at the University of Toronto Schools.

By arrangement with the trustees, the OCA has undertaken to advertise the scholarship program, receive applications and assess applicants. Awards are made by the trustees on the recommendation of the OCA. Along with transcripts and letters of recommendation, applicants had to submit a short essay of 800-1000 words on a given topic.

The topic of the Harry C. Maynard scholarships in classics for 2003-2004 was as follows:

We take for granted that our western world has been shaped by the Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. Whether it is government, the judicial system, architecture, the armed forces, town planning or language, all their roots can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Select one of the domains from your immediate environment or experience and illustrate how this can be observed.

About the Ontario Classical Association

The Ontario Classical Association, established in 1944, is a society dedicated to the promotion of classical studies in Ontario. It has three aims:

  • To discuss the problems and promote the efficiency of teachers of Latin, Greek and classical civilization;
  • To encourage interest and scholarship in the classics;
  • To stimulate, maintain and extend interest in the humanities.

Jonathan Edmondson is currently the association’s vice-president and will begin a two-year term as president in June 2004.