Dr. Alden Smith Named Classics Chair at Baylor

April 21, 1999

by Alan Hunt

Baylor University President Robert B. Sloan, Jr. has announced the appointment of Dr. R. Alden Smith as chair of Baylor's Department of Classics.

Smith has served as acting chair of classics and associate professor since August 1998. A native of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., he received a bachelor's degree from Dickinson College, a master of arts degree from the University of Vermont, and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to joining the Baylor faculty in 1994, he taught at the University of Vermont, the University of Pennsylvania, and Rutgers University. Courses he has taught at Baylor include elementary and intermediate Latin, intensive elementary Greek, and intermediate Greek. Smith also has taught five undergraduate seminars, including a seminar program he developed on the Latin language.

Smith has authored a number of books and articles in his areas of scholarly interest, which include Augustan poetry, Greek poetry, Hellenistic and Roman art. He also has been a faculty sponsor of Eta Sigma Phi at Baylor since 1995 and he serves on the board of trustees of this national classics honor society. He serves as historian of the Phi Beta Kappa chapter at Baylor.

He developed the Baylor in Italy Program and has served as its director since 1994. Courses he has taught during the program include Topography of Rome and Pompeii and Epistles and Epigraphy. A member of the World Cultures II faculty in Baylor's Interdisciplinary Core Curriculum, Smith's lectures focus on art and literature, including Du Fu, Li Bai, Dante, Boccaccio, Machievelli, and the art of China and India.

Dr. Wallace L. Daniel, dean of Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences, said Smith is "superbly qualified" to provide excellent leadership for the department. "He brings high teaching and scholarship credentials to the position, and he offers the kind of commitment to excellence that the chairperson of a strong department requires. I look forward to working with him in strengthening the academic mission of the College and the University."

Active in Waco's Trinity Lutheran Church, Smith serves as a Sunday school teacher and is a member of the board of elders and the Trinity Lutheran School board.

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