The 64th National Junior Classical League Convention has brought 1,700 people to Troy University’s Troy Campus this week.
Middle and high school students from around the country have gathered to celebrate their love of classical civilizations through games and workshops that are both academic and athletic in nature.
“It’s just a whole lot of fun,” said Bob McDonald, president of the National Senior Classical League, which is helping facilitate the convention. “It’s a bunch of kids that come together, and it’s not just about academics, it’s about leadership development, school spirit, state pride, building self-confidence and forming relationships with people from around the country. It’s just a great time for all involved.”
Formed in 1936, the National Junior Classical League is composed of local and state chapters across the U.S., Canada and Australia, and it’s the largest Classical organization in the world, with over 50,000 members. According to its website, its purpose is to encourage an interest in and an appreciation of the language, literature and culture of ancient Greece and Rome.
“The goal is to further the study of ancient Greece and Rome and classical civilizations, to make it more popular, make people aware that this is still a topic to study, and to help them realize it’s still something we can really learn from,” McDonald said.
The athletic events, called Ludi, consist of sports such as track and field, soccer, basketball and swimming, while the Certamen serves as the convention’s quiz bowl game, with finals being held Friday.
“It’s been great so far,” McDonald said. “We were really amazed with how (the campus) fits together and serves our needs.”