Students Celebrate Latin at UVM Latin Day

Nelson LaBombard (25), Oli Newhall (26), Robbie Gilding (26) at this years Latin Day. Photo credit: Lydia Batten

Nelson LaBombard (’25), Oli Newhall (’26), Robbie Gilding (’26) at this year’s Latin Day. Photo credit: Lydia Batten

Isma Rashid, Writer

What is Latin Day at the University of  Vermont? Created by the UVM Classics Department, Latin Day has continued to be celebrated for the last 45 years as a way to recognize Latin and Greek culture and language. Lydia Batten, Bellows Free Academy’s Latin teacher, has been encouraging Latin students to partake in the annual Latin Day since she first became a teacher at BFA. 

“It became an opportunity to once a year get together and celebrate being involved in the study of Latin and the ancient Romans,” Batten said.  

According to Batten, students partaking in Latin Day spend an entire school day at UVM to learn more about Latin, Romans and their culture. They participate in skits, art projects, recitations, scholar’s bowl-type competitions and workshops.

 “It is truly a day for students who embrace learning Latin to meet and see other students who also really enjoy studying Latin,” Batten said. 

She added how students who participate even get the opportunity to immerse themselves in Roman fashion. They can wear togas, and take part in mock gladiator fights and military formations.

For students who are interested in participating in this event, it occurs annually in February– or potentially in March next year. Students are made aware of the event beforehand to prepare for skits or other activities. 

“It’s an eye-opener for students who think they are a small minority in their own schools to go there and see so many others who also study Latin,” Batten said.

Even with this opportunity to learn about these ancient cultures, Latin Day has continued to show a decline in student participation at UVM. 

“I think [COVID-19] has certainly had some sort of impact on it, but it has always just been a trend,” Batten said.

Even with this decline, the spirit of Latin Day continues. 

“For those who go, not really sure what to expect, they always come back very energized and impressed by all that can come from studying this ancient language,” Batten said.