Tom Drucker

Prof. Philip Lockhart was the very model of a colleague to someone newly arrived at Dickinson and teaching in another department.  It had been some years since I had used classical Latin, but he welcomed me to sit in on the Lucretius class he taught during my first year at the college.  Lucretius can be made the basis for all kinds of remarks on the history of philosophy and science, yet Phil recognized that he had students whose interests did not lie in how Latin accommodated Greek philosophy.  What he did with the text was point out plenty of homely wisdom in a poet whose observations  may appropriately decorate academic buildings and who also observed the world around him.  Lucretius’ words from two thousand years before were brought home to the hearts and minds of the Dickinson community.  Not everyone was always immaculately prepared to translate in class; the discussion, nevertheless, was lively.  As an instructor, I had never sat through a semester’s worth of someone’s else’s classes and been so open-mouthed in admiration.

Part of the secret of Phil’s appeal to students was his interest in their lives outside the classroom.  He followed their careers with enthusiasm and recommendations about avenues to pursue, from matters as general as kind of career to those as particular as job openings recently learned about.  He could have said, ‘Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienum puto.’  Students did their best in an atmosphere where the instructor cared about every aspect of their lives.  His encouragement of consideration of issues sub specie aeternitatis brought past, present, and future together in minds and imaginations.

Having been part of a faculty at a university where not even Latin has been taught for almost a century, I can vouch for the civilizing effects of classics.  One speaks of ‘liberal arts’ and ‘liberal education’, but it is hard to produce students liberally educated without the benefits of the languages in which the liberal arts were first discussed.  While Classics at Dickinson was not the creation of Phil Lockhart, nor did he maintain it single-handedly, he was a custodian for whom the authors whose works he discussed would have been grateful.  The warmth of Phil’s welcome continued even after his initial stroke, and I only wish some of my students recognized that some of what they learn in my classroom is a gift from Magister Docentium (the master of those who teach).



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Joyce Wise Beene, Class of 1965

I first became friends with Dr. Lockhart when we both attended the same church in Narberth, PA when I was in high school and he was teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. when I attended my first Latin class at Dickinson, Dr. Nodder surprised me by saying, “I have heard all about you from Phil Lockhart.” At the beginning of my sophomore year, I was even more surprised when Dr. Lockhart showed up on campus as the department head of Classical Languages. I became a language major because it seemed to me the best teachers in high school and in college taught Latin. It was very exciting during the next three years at Dickinson to be one of five Latin majors after only one had graduated two years previous. My honors program under Dr. Lockhart was a very stimulating experience. I did not follow a career in Latin, however, and was impressed and grateful that Dr. Lockhart remained a dedicated advisor to me regardless of the path I followed. When I decided to go to graduate school, I called him to talk about my options. When I chose the library science program at Drexel University and later law school in Tennessee, he was just as supportive. Dr. Lockhart as a person as well as a teacher had a major impact on my life.

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Eric Bedell, Class of 1979

Thank you for your e-mail regarding Phil’s passing. [Oh, and how long after graduation that it took me to refer to him as ‘Phil,’ as opposed to’ Dr. Lockhart/Professor Lockhart.’]

Phil was my advisor. He, along with Bob Sider and Leon Fitts (truly the ‘triumvirate’ of the Department of Classical Studies — likely never to be surpassed), hold a special place in my life. Phil is one of the most important mentors to have helped shape who I am today.

He was inspirational, encouraging and engaging. I recall his dry and nuanced humor — often accompanied by a glint in his eye and a mischievous grin.

My thoughts are with the Dickinson Family, as well as Phil’s — Betty, Bruce and Betsy. Phil was — and will continue to be — cherished by so many people whom he touched in his years of teaching and service.

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Reuty Reutershan (Class of 1976)

Phil was more than just one of the best professors a young person could ever hope to have due to the fact that he became a close friend/confidant to all his students as we all matured towards that final graduation ceremony. He was like a proud father, shedding a slight tear, embracing us for the last time as we were leaving his comfortable womb– known as the Classics Department–entering the real world at the ripe age of 22. Phil spent countless hours making sure all his students had a job after we left campus. He did this because he had a deep love for all his classics majors! Without his assistance I would never have been able to start my teaching career which began at Fryeburg Academy. I am in my 35th year of teaching Latin. I can truly say that I have had a good life doing what I love and I owe it all to the 3 gentlemen who molded me into the educator I am today: Drs. Lockhart, Sider, & Fitts. I call these men my ‘classical holy trinity’. The beauty of this whole picture is that they all had different teaching styles which I have incorporated into my classroom on a daily basis over all these years. I just hope that I have been able to influence some of my students as Dr. Lockhart impacted me. A part of my inner soul felt as if it had died the day I read the note from President Duren. Until we meet again someday in the near future, Dr. Lockhart, please know that you will always be loved and cherished by the thousands of students you educated over the decades.

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Sue Rosenfeld (Niamey, Niger; Class of 1970)

None of the classics majors of my generation called Dr. Lockhart ‘Dr Lockhart.’ He was ‘Uncle Phil.’ And Stanley Nodder was ‘Uncle Stan.’ It was a great department.

I might have been the 2nd Dickinsonian to study in Rome at ‘Il Centro.’ Back in the day it was on Via Ulisse Seni but I think it moved (but as I understand it, it is still in Monte Verde Vecchio). Uncle Phil decided for me that I would go to Rome because D’son was paying consortium membership fees but no one had gone in a year or two. At first I was not pleased. I didn’t want to go. But I went and never looked back. Totally changed my life. Although I am not involved directly with Latin or Classical Studies that year out of the USA has led to my spending 35 more years outside the USA. I went back to Italy 3 yrs after graduating to better learn Italian (I was at l’Universita per Stranieri in Perugia).

I met a lot of Africans in Perugia and have spent the last 34 years in Africa, first as a Peace Corps volunteer (4 yrs in Senegal), then as a Fulbright lecturer (3 yrs in Burundi) and the last 26+ yrs in Niger, first running an English as a Foreign Language program and then directing Boston University’s study abroad program here.

My senior year Uncle Phil was on Sabbatical at the U of Ohio. So I convinced my roommate (not a classics major, but she had a car) to drive out to Ohio to see him. What I mostly remember from that weekend is Uncle Phil’s saying, on Saturday morning, ‘So, wanna’ see “the factory?”‘ (because the U of Ohio was so huge compared to Dickinson).

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Pat Miller Gable (Class of 1961)

I am so very sorry to hear of Phil’s passing, and I did not get any previous email, so this is my initial reaction to news of his death.

Phil Lockhart was the greatest influence in my Dickinson College experience. He was the reason I became a Latin major and went on to teach high school Latin for more than twenty-five years I loved every minute I spent in every class he taught. He was inspiring, and he was challenging. I loved his lectures and his seminars. His assignments opened my mind to new and exciting ideas as I translated the language of authors who had written so many years before me. My love for Vergil’s Aeneid began at his home on Sunday nights as I sipped coffee and listened to Dr. Lockhart connect the epic poem to my life as a college senior. My senior thesis on Ovid made me understand that the words of any language can have many levels of meaning.

His Christian faith was also inspiring. One of my last visits with Dr. Lockhart was more than ten years ago when my husband and I took Betty and Phil out to lunch. Rather than discuss Latin, the focus of our conversation centered on the Apostle Paul and a trip that Phil was taking to revisit some of the churches of Paul’s travels. Again, Phil just made connections to places referred to in Paul’s letters and their significance to the early Christian faith that I, although a veteran Sunday School teacher, had never even thought of. Phil was brilliant.

Last year was my 45th class reunion, and I regret that I did not get back to Carlisle, especially to see Dr. Lockhart. Yet Dr. Lockhart’s classes, his ideas, and even the sound of his voice, remain embedded in my memory, and in my life.

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Andrew H. Lupu (North Bellmore, New York)

There was nothing quite like the sight of Professor Philip N. Lockhart riding his bicycle down the middle of the Academic Quad most Fall and Spring mornings, wearing his suit and skinny tie, and flashing a big warm smile for all his students also rushing to morning Latin class. More than thirty years after having first seen it, it’s indelible and his story wonderfully told, that is, mirabile dictu.

My remembrance can only begin to describe the impact of a teacher who deeply cared about his students’ educations as well as their lives after Graduation, and how it continues to this day. As a Latin Major and Ancient Greek Minor, Class of 1981, my ablatives are still almost always absolute. I may practice international law and teach law as adjunct faculty, but my world is never far from the Classics, Lockhart-style. How to teach with the same energy and enthusiasm that I first learned long ago at Barnard Center, now East College? I may teach about contemporary issues, but often find a classical allusion or historical example which more clearly illustrates the point. After all, as he taught us, there are no new issues; only recycled ones which were first addressed in Classical Antiquity. And, using that term, we were also taught that, by seeing things through Roman and Greek eyes, we ought to look back even further to the Egyptians, Jews, and, yes, Professor, the Etruscans (that mysterious people lost to history) and Indo-Europeans (whose digamma we still use and pronounce as “W”).

But, if learning Classics was the only legacy that Professor Lockhart left us, few of us would remember him. He taught us all much more and used Classics and its “lessons” as a guide by which to live one’s life. So, let’s not forget his teaching about the god Janus, the god who looks forward and backward at the same time, whom the Romans depicted on their coinage and as the name of the first month of our calendar, in reminding us that we all must understand the past and future as one continuous event. Let’s recall his insistence that Epic poetry is not only epic because of the characters and themes but because it was sung and performed so that “Arma virumque cano,…” was a public spectacle and a part of the Roman national and religious consciousness. How about all good dactylic hexameter ends with “Shave and haircut, two bits!”? Finally, I recall his personal advice to remember that “[t]he mills of the gods grind slowly and they grind exceedingly fine” (Sextus Empiricus, not Longfellow), a meaningful piece of classical thought which is particularly helpful for impatient students to remember.

Professor Lockhart taught many things, such as teaching requires one to know the subject intimately, love your students and feed their need for education, and have joy in all that you do and are, whether in your family, work, or religion. These were his keys to living a full, abundant, and meaningful life and one in which he succeeded admirably.

Finally, I recall having shared aspects of my Jewish religious experience with Professor Lockhart, including inviting him to attend my wedding. I would tell him often about Jewish life and observance and took particular pride in inviting him to Passover meals at the HUB and sharing Matzah with him. The Babylonian Talmud, a set of Rabbinical Jewish legal and ethical writings compiled from 200 – 500 CE, teaches in a book called Bava Metzia, Chapter 2, Mishnah 11 about the Rabbis’ resolution of a legal question: If someone finds property lost by one’s father and also property lost by one’s teacher, to whom should that individual first return the property? That is, does the individual owe the primary duty to return the property to the father or to the teacher? Of course, these Rabbis knew the question that they were asking: who merits more respect, a parent or a teacher? They resolve the question by providing an ethical and religious teaching which speaks to the Lockhart commitment to teach his students not only knowledge and facts but how to live one’s life with meaning:
The obligation to return the property to his teacher takes precedence, since his father brought him into this world, but his teacher, because it was he who taught him wisdom, brings him into the life of the World to come, that is, Heaven. Similarly, if his father and his teacher were carrying a burden, he relieves that of his teacher, and then relieves that of his father. If his father and his teacher were in captivity, he ransoms his teacher, and then ransoms his father.

Professor Lockhart will be missed and remembered for all of his timeless work.

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Julia Gascoyne Fedoryk (Fairfield, CT)

Not a day passes in my classroom that I don’t invoke the spirit of all I learned in the Department of Classical Studies at Dickinson College. And, of course, one of the most influential members of that group of beloved professors was Dr. Philip Lockhart.

Dr. Lockhart was a master at “programming” in a department. The story from the Admissions Office, in the pre-e-mail days, was that he would sit down with the high school transcripts of students newly-admitted to the College and pull out names of Dickinson’s incoming freshmen students who had taken four years of high school Latin. He would find them if they hadn’t already found him. He was the master of the teaching principle “take them where you get them, and bring them along to a place of more understanding” (a principle most of my high school administrators, my current supervisors, think they invented on their own). When Dr. Lockhart had his list of students, then his work began.

In the 80’s, when I was at Dickinson, freshmen who had already taken four year of high school Latin, from private as well as public schools, all fed into Dr. Lockhart’s Livy class. In the tradition of the first century BC, he used Livy to let us cut our teeth on college Latin. After we had suffered through Livy’s praefatio, we worked our way through the stories of the early kingdom . . . reviewing not only our Latin grammar, but, more importantly, our understanding of the old Roman values: virtus, dignitas, auctoritas, pudicitia, clementia, firmitas, gravitas, humanitas, industria, pietas, prudentia, veritas and severitas. There was clearly a higher purpose: to soak us in the tradition of the “old Roman virtues”, to give us a guidebook to help us pick our way through the difficulties of freshman seminars, an embarrassing attempt at the doorknob of the front entrance to Old West, and the relationships we found on Friday and Saturday nights at the library as well as in the upper and lower quads. For Dr. Lockhart, Livy’s stories became the “how to” course for leading a meaningful life. One of my fondest memories is of Dr. Lockhart strolling past the gleaming-white statue of the young Augustus, putting his hand on the statue’s chin and referring to him as “young Gus”.

As a teacher . . . Dr. Lockhart was a master. “Always teach a class just here,” he would tell us, skimming the top of one of my classmates’ heads. “Whenever you learn a new word, it will appear for you again in another context within 24 hours,” (I repeat this to my own students often, and it always seems to prove true.) “Remember, it’s sometimes better to be the tender reed, which blows and bends in the wind than the oak tree, that can be uprooted in a quick blast.” and one he seemed to have created just for me, a double major in Spanish and Latin, whenever I wrote anything in Latin: “You sound just like one of the Roman recruits from the province of Hispania when you compose Latin.”

Philip N. Lockhart believed in each one of us; his nurturing teaching style continues to inspire me in my own classroom every day.

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Lou Walton (Class of 1972)

I was saddened to learn of Dr. Lockhart’s passing. I entered Dickinson in the fall of ’69 and initially struggled as a student. After meeting with Dr. Lockhart one day (remember his broad smile as he walked in the hallways or across campus?), he “lobbied me” to major in Latin. What a wonderful decision…who could say “no” to Dr. Lockhart? His ongoing support for me over the years never wavered…from encouraging me to spend a summer in Italy examining the Pompeii ruins and Roman architecture to his continued encouragement of my efforts to attend law school.

Above all faculty members, I’ll always be grateful for his unwavering support. A decade after my law school graduation and while pursuing a successful law career I received a voice message one day. “Just called to say hello, Lou and see how you were doing.” Yes, that was Dr. Lockhart…always caring about his students.

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David H. Wrinn (Class of 1973)

It was with great sadness that I and other classics alumni heard that Phil Lockhart had died. The obituary notice that the College published was apt, comprehensive, and respectful, but one had to know the man. Many will offer their tributes. I can only remark that, from the remove of my many years, I have seldom encountered an individual more humane in his dealings: inspiring with his teaching; encouraging in his advices; exercising a light hand in his criticism; and forgiving of the ways and manners of youth. Few men would dare lay claim to these attributes; fewer still could do it with Phil’s humility.

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