Why come to The University of Dallas to study Classics?
The function of a classical education has always been threefold: first, to engage the mind in the investigation of revolutionary ideas; second, to train the tongue to speak with power and articulation; third, to fire the imagination with examples of conduct that will guide us in our confrontation with life. The classical authors are sometimes mistakenly supposed to be out of date, but they posed to themselves the problems of the human condition in terms that have not changed and they found solutions with which we still live, though often unawares. These solutions were radical at the time that they were devised and they remain so, for every generation that recognizes them must begin again by going back to the roots of things. There, the ideas live with the freshness and greenness of the first shoots of spring. For each age they blossom forth in language that has repeatedly enchanted the western world, supplying it with paradigms for imitation as well as instruments for analysis. We not only speak like the ancients, or we aspire to, but we also understand our own use of speech, by depending on their grammar, rhetoric, and logic, and when we act, we do so within an ethical framework that was given its theoretical form by classical philosophers and its practical substance and color by classical poets and statesmen. Because of its attention to thought and word and deed, classical education has been held up as a model for Western civilization, and its utility is no less now than it has ever been. Students who major in Classics, therefore, may apply their training in all the ways that their predecessors have, specifically to work, such as a professional career in law, medicine, public service, the clergy or teaching, and more generally to life as a whole, since it is this whole to which education will always look in the end.
Besides learning to read the great works of classical antiquity, students of Classics also gain direct access to the Christian tradition, since it was primarily in Greek and Latin that Christian spirituality initially took literary shape, flourished thereafter in the great theologians and poets, and continues to illuminate our lives today.