The Catholic University of America

Departmental Funds

The Department of Greek and Latin welcomes contributions to any of these endowments, or to its general operating fund.

The McGuire-Peebles Scholarship Endowment

The McGuire-Peebles Scholarship Endowment, named for former departmental chairs Dr. Martin R. P. McGuire and Dr. Bernard M. Peebles, is used to generate fellowship stipends for graduate students in the department.

Dr. Martin McGuire (1897-1969) first taught in the Department of Greek and Latin in 1924 as a graduate assistant pursuing his MA; after earning his PhD in 1927, he joined the departmental faculty as an instructor, beginning a CUA career that lasted over 40 years and saw him promoted to ordinary professor, graduate dean, and (from 1949 to 1962) department chair. Dr. McGuire was primarily a Latinist (his dissertation was on St. Ambrose), but his interests were wide-ranging, as witnessed in significant part by his work on The New Catholic Encyclopedia, for which he served as the senior editor (source: Ward W. Briggs, Jr., ed., Biographical Dictionary of North American Classicists (Greenwood, CT and London, Greenwood Press, 1994), 387-89, with additional references).

Dr. Bernard Peebles (1906-1976) earned his PhD from Harvard in 1940, following a period as a fellow of the American Academy in Rome (1932-34). He held faculty positions at Fordham University and at St. John's College in Annapolis, MD, before joining the CUA faculty at the rank of associate professor in 1948. During his time in the Department of Greek and Latin he was promoted to ordinary professor and succeeded Dr. Martin McGuire as department chair in 1962, a position he held until 1970. Dr. Peebles' primary interests lay in Latin textual criticism, but he was deeply engaged in literary analysis as well (source: Ward W. Briggs, Jr., ed., Biographical Dictionary of North American Classicists (Greenwood, CT and London, Greenwood Press, 1994), 489-91, with additional references).

The Dr. Bernard M. Peebles Memorial Fund

The Dr. Bernard M. Peebles Memorial Fund provides ongoing support for the purchase of books for the departmental library. The library now enjoys a separately demarcated space within the department's suite of offices, as well as the services of a student bibliographer and an annual review by the faculty for the consideration of new book purchases. It receives daily use as both a reference room and a study space, and the development of an electronic catalogue of its holdings is in progress.

The department is also delighted to receive gifts of textual editions, commentaries, and scholarly books for the library to supplement the purchases made through the Peebles Fund. Such gifts, upon request, can be commemorated with bookplates to serve as lasting memorials as well as research tools.

The Virgil S. Crisafulli Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Virgil S. Crisafulli Memorial Scholarship Fund is used to offset a percentage of tuition expenses for CUA graduate students in the department's Summer Program in the Ancient Languages. Students from any CUA graduate program may apply for consideration for the Crisafulli Scholarships.

The Margaret H. Gardiner Endowment

The Margaret H. Gardiner Endowment was established in 1905 "as an endowed Professorship, to be known as the Margaret H. Gardiner Chair of Greek and Sanskrit" (The Catholic University of America, Year-Book 1913-14, p. 51). Its first incumbent was Prof. George Melville Bolling, who occupied the Chair from 1906-1913.

The Dr. Bernard M. Peebles and Dr. George J. Siefert Book Prizes

These annual book prizes are awarded to the graduating seniors who have distinguished themselves in the study of the ancient languages. One major reference work of the discipline is awarded for achievement in Latin (in honor of Dr. Siefert), and one for Greek (in honor of Dr. Peebles). It is hoped that in the future the book prize funds may be expanded to permit the award of a volume for achievement in classical studies and ancient history.

Dr. George Siefert (1910-1984) first taught at CUA as an instructor in 1936, immediately upon returning from a two-year fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1947, shortly before receiving his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania (1948); his dissertation was Meter and Case in the Latin Elegiac Pentameter, a topic that reflects the devotion to precise and elegant Latinity that was a hallmark of his classroom teaching. In 1963, he was promoted to associate professor, and in 1965, he was awarded the Benemerenti Medal for service to CUA by Pope John VI (sources: obituary letter from Frederick R. McManus, Academic Vice President, CUA, October 19, 1984; Cynthia Kahn, "A Memorial of George J. Siefert, Jr.," American Academy in Rome, October 17, 1988).

Fund in progress honoring Dr. George J. Siefert

A number of former students of Dr. George Siefert have offered generous donations to begin a departmental fund in honor of their teacher and mentor. With additional support from other alumni and friends, this seed may become a named departmental scholarship endowment.