St Stephen’s School in Rome gets significant donation for Classics

Lyceum academic program to be named after retired Classics teacher at St Stephen’s School.

St Stephen’s in Rome had received a significant donation supporting the school’s Lyceum program, which offers students International Baccalaureate courses in Classical Greek and Latin languages and Classical Greek and Roman studies.

A group of alumni, parents and former staff members have pledged $675,000 towards the signature project in what is the most significant contribution to an academic program in the history of St Stephen’s, an American international school located near the Circus Maximus in the Aventino area of Rome.

The school describes the donation as “a transformational commitment that will allow generations of students to benefit from the teaching of the Classics on campus.”

Modeled after Aristotle’s idea of the university, the Lyceum involves an inclusive and interdisciplinary approach, combining the study of ancient Greece and Rome with science, art, and technology.

Field trips

The project also allows students to join day and weekend field trips, from studying Ovid’s poetry at his birthplace in Sulmona to examining Roman architecture at Herculaneum and Pompeii.

The Lyceum co-sponsors the original publication Remus, the sourcebook for the Sandra and Grenville Craig City
of Rome Course, a required class that enables students to “use Rome as a living laboratory for their study of the city, its monuments, buildings, and physical spaces.”

The program is to be renamed as the Dr. Helen Pope Lyceum at St Stephen’s School, in honor of the Lyceum’s founding faculty member, Dr. Helen Pope, who retired recently after more than three decades of teaching Classics.

It is named and endowed thanks to the lead gift from Christina and Jeff Sagansky, whose daughter Dr. Pope taught summer Sagansky as part of the Class of 2012.

The Big Dig

In 2021, Pope Lyceum will bring to fruition the Aventinus Minor Project (AMP), a ground-breaking partnership with The American University of Rome.

Known affectionately as the “Big Dig,” the project is an interdisciplinary collaboration among Classics, history, science, mathematics, and the arts to excavate the Aventine Hill, “right in St Stephen’s backyard.”

The school says the dig will “help students gain critical knowledge of archaeology, the methodologies of excavating and archaeological drawing, archaeobotany, zooarchaeology, 3D laser scanning and printing, archival studies, record-keeping, iconography, cartography, typography, and photography.”

Classical legacy

The school says the Lyceum is at the core of its mission “to engage new generations with our Classical legacy.”

The Pope Lyceum Founding Donors are:
Donna Bachle and Thomas Aden, Class of 1968
Sandra and Grenville Craig
William Gruy
Teodolinda Barolini, Class of 1968
Duncan Pollock
Nigel Redden, Class of 1967
Danna and Harvey Stone
Christine and Jeffrey Sagansky
Wheelock Whitney III, Class of 1968

St Stephen’s is a non-profit and non-denominational, co-educational, American international day and boarding
IB World School. It enrolls students from ages 14-19 in grades 9-12, plus an optional postgraduate year.

Photo Herculaneum.