EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Andrew Crocker couldn’t attend commencement ceremonies Friday at Michigan State University, but he still stood out among the nearly 7,000 graduates.
Or stood alone, you might say.
Crocker was the last classical studies major at the East Lansing school. The program was one of several that officials announced in 2009 would be cut as the university dealt with decreased state funding and reassessed its own priorities, the Lansing State Journal reported (http://on.lsj.com/Q3yost ).
Some programs since have been saved and others have seen their last graduates. Classical studies is technically on a moratorium — frequently a prelude to elimination — and isn’t accepting any new students.
One of the program’s three remaining professors, William Tyrrell, is retiring this spring. He said the school, the only Big Ten university without an active classics major, was “giving up its commitment to what a university should be.”
Crocker, who spoke by phone from his home in Dublin, Ohio, where he was dealing with family matters, said his plan is to improve his ancient Greek, French and German language skills and apply to graduate schools.
Crocker said studying the ancient world is beneficial because it helps people “see the reverberations today.” He hopes “the university will come to its senses and reinstate it.”
“If it doesn’t, that’s a great loss,” he said.
Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com