The Classics department at Wright State is as old as the University itself. Dr. William King was hired in 1964 to establish the department. His wife, Dr. Cynthia King, joined the faculty in 1965. At this time, Wright State was still a satellite campus of Miami University and The Ohio State University. The only building on campus was Allyn Hall. The library, with a Classics collection of 25 books, was housed in the cafeteria. When Wright State became an independent university in 1967, the Classics department continued to thrive.
In 1977, Dr. Jan Gabbert, a Wright State alumna herself, joined the Kings, establishing a core of three tenured full-time faculty members. Over time this core has been supplemented by various lecturers and instructors. 1977 also saw the Wright State Classics Department host its first “Antiquities Day.”
In 1981, Wright State hosted the annual meeting of the Ohio Classics Conference, the leading organization for Classical pedagogy in the state. In 1989, WSU hosted the Cambridge Latin Teachers Workshop.
In the 2000s, Dr. William King, Dr. Cynthia King, and Dr. Jan Gabbert handed over the reins of the department to current faculty members, Dr. Bruce Laforse, Dr. Jeannette Marchand, and Dr. Rebecca Edwards.
In 2008, Wright State established a chapter of the national Classics honors fraternity, Eta Sigma Phi. In 2013, in conjunction with the College of the Education, the Classics Department began offering an advanced degree program for licensure to teach high school Latin.
Drs. William and Cynthia King
Professors Emeriti, Department of Classics