About the Lecture Series
Organized for and by the graduate students of the Department of Classics, the William J. Battle Lecture Series is an opportunity for the graduate students to build connections with prominent scholars from other universities, foster community within the department, and develop professional skills useful in later careers. It is a source of pride for the graduate students, the Department, the University, and those who have been invited as lecturers.
Each year a lecturer, nominated and chosen by the graduate students, offers a private seminar to the graduate students on a topic pertinent to his or her area of specialization. Following the private seminar is a BBQ, open to Classics graduate students only, with which we welcome our distinguished guest to the best that Austin has to offer—great food, scenery, and company—and where the graduate students and our lecturer have the opportunity to interact in a friendly and informal setting.
In addition to private events with the graduate students, lecturers also give a public lecture, which is open to all. Faculty and students throughout the University and UT alumni are invited to attend the lecture and stay for the reception to meet our guest.
A Brief Biography of William J. Battle
The graduate students voted to name the lecture series after William James Battle (1870-1955) due to his role in and support of the Department of Classics and the University of Texas at Austin.
Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, Battle received a B.A. and Ph.D from Harvard University in 1893. He joined the faculty of the University of Texas in 1893 as associate professor of Greek. He was promoted to professor in 1898, made dean of the College of Arts in 1908 and Dean of the Faculty in 1911, and was elected presedent of the University in 1914. After three years teaching at the University of Cincinnati, Battle returned to the University of Texas as professor of classical languages and chairman of the faculty building committee. He retired in 1948.
Battle's other contributions to the University of Texas include the University seal, which he designed in 1901, and the establishment of the University Co-Op in 1898.