Craig Cheplick (Class of 1978)

I never planned on studying Latin, but I took it my freshman year. Dr. Lockhart took me under his wing, and good for me. I would have never made it without him. He encouraged me to be a teacher, a coach, and a decent person. 35 years later as I get ready to retire from a great career as a teacher and a coach I can only hope I helped students one little bit as Dr. Lockhart helped me. God bless and thank you, friend.

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Lynn Rossman Gunzenhauser (Class of 1977)

Professor Lockhart was my advisor, and he was a joy to know. People ask me why on earth did I major in Latin, and I would always tell them it was because of Prof. Lockhart. I think he saw abilities in his students that we, ourselves, may not have recognized. I remember being inspired both by his intellectual curiosity and his witty sense of humor. His energy and passion were infectious. He was one of a kind.

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Cynthia Murphy (Carlisle, PA)

My most memorable time with Phil was when I toured Dickinson the year before I came to Dickinson. The student tour guide took me to East and before I could be introduced to Phil, he turned to me and said, “Why Cynthia I was hoping to meet you! Dr. Stillwell is well known in Western New York Classics.” I had been vacillating between F & M and Dickinson, Phil made my decision for me that day.

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Leon Fitts’ introduction to the first Philip N. Lockhart lecture

Vergil wrote two works that celebrate the countryside, and one of these, the Georgics, in which the poet uses the land and its cycles to discuss Roman politics, is the expertise of our honoree tonight. A poem about the land was a natural choice for Professor Lockhart’s scholarship since he grew up on a farm half way between Punxsutawney and Indiana, PA, where he helped farm until he graduated from high school Geography, which Cicero suggested long ago had importance to the growth of Rome, likewise may have played its role here. Punxsutawney, home of a meteorological oracle, who is also named Phil, perhaps imbued the Professor with a questioning mind needed for academic pursuits, while the hard work of farming gave him perseverance and practical application of knowledge. Armed with these natural strengths, following high school, he earned a degree in 1950 from the University of Pennsylvania in a less labor intensive subject, English. From Penn, Professor Lockhart went to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill where he switched gears and earned a Masters degree in Comparative Literature– perhaps the sun did not shine of English that day? But this was not the only fateful decision made by Phil; he left Chapel Hill for Ezel, Kentucky, to teach in a Presbyterian mission school (1951-52). There, as often he has told many, he developed a love of teaching, an inordinate love of students, of the Classics, and of Calvinism, traits that would play major roles in his future career. To pursue Classics, in 1952 Phil went to Yale where he earned his PhD in 1959, with time at Missouri and Penn as an “A.B.D.” professor in between. It was at Yale that Vergil captured his mind, but where Betty his wife, a fellow graduate student and a member of the same Vergil seminar, conquered his heart. They were married when Phil got his degree and continued teaching at Penn until 1963.

Another sea change was made in that year. A former student, Stan Nodder who was teaching Classics at Dickinson, asked Phil to join him in the department and invigorate Classics in Carlisle. Though Phil has never said so, perhaps the mystique found in the close relationship with his students in Kentucky, the challenge of teaching Latin and Greek under difficult circumstances and the chance to engage undergraduates tugged at his mind; he accepted the invitation and moved to Carlisle where he taught from 1963 until his retirement in1990. The choice seems predestined in hind sight and the journey to Carlisle one guided as much by fate as Aeneas= trip to Italy in the Aeneid. Phil and Stan brought Classics to the forefront at Dickinson; they revamped the curriculum and a third member to the department..

In the process, Phil became AUncle Phil@ and the beloved mentor of countless legions. His office always was much like a physician’s clinic—students lined the walls waiting their turn. Unlike the clinic, once in, one’s time with Phil was extensive. Usually the problems discussed had little to do with Classics, commonly it was fatherly advise given for a variety of issues mundane and spiritual. And if anyone lacked a major going in, they came out convinced that Classics had all the answers to life. Phil was unabashedly chauvinistic in that regard. His approach to all his classes and his students is best summarized by his own words: “we tend to teach as we have ourselves been taught,” in other words the totality of one’s experience is crucial to success, and in Phil’s case that meant teaching with a strong moral conviction. And the response of students to this doctrine is well illustrated by the comments of a recent graduate: He is “a brilliant person and inspiring teacher, who brought much more to the table. He was interested in the development of the whole person; the principles of faith, love and fun were ingrained in his curriculum.” During his career at the college, Phil was chosen the most inspiring teacher by seniors four times, a record never matched again. Upon his retirement, nearly 300 former students came back of campus to read citations of appreciation of his teaching. Obviously, all the passions conceived in Ezel Kentucky found fruition at Dickinson.

Of course, Calvin was not forgotten when he got to Carlisle. New Testament Greek entered the curriculum, the Gospel of John (according to Phil) became a standard course, and several independent studies on the history of Christianity or similar issues filled his time. So a lecture series on the subject of Christianity is most apropos to honor one who helped and continues to help countless students facing hard issues in their spiritual life and who sits in church with his Hebrew, Greek and Latin versions of the scriptures ready to check his minister’s theology. As series commences, perhaps Vergil himself may indirectly supply words of encouragement; speaking of bees as a metaphor for a poem, he wrote, “it is a small-scale work; but the glory will not be small-scale…if the God of learning listens when invoked.” Since Phil has spent his life honoring learning and God, the future of the series looks bright.

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President Durden’s message February 23, 2011

It is my sad duty to inform you that Philip N. Lockhart, emeritus Asbury J. Clarke Chair of Latin, died on February 20, 2011 at the Forest Park Health Center in Carlisle. Phil is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Ayer Lockhart, son, Dr. Bruce Lockhart, daughter, Betsy Wood, and her husband, Jeff Wood.

Phil, a native of Pennsylvania, earned his B.A. in English with honors, and Phi Beta Kappa distinction, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1950. After his undergraduate work, he received his M.A. in comparative literature from the University of North Carolina in 1951 and went on to receive his Ph.D. in classical languages and archaeology at Yale University in 1959.

Before joining the faculty at Dickinson in 1963, Phil was a missionary teacher at the Ezel Mission School in Kentucky and also taught at the University of Missouri, the Ohio State University and at the University of Pennsylvania. He was appointed the chair of the department of classical studies in 1965 and was appointed the Asbury J. Clarke Chair of Latin in 1971. After 27 years of teaching at Dickinson, Phil retired in 1990 at which time he was awarded professor emeritus of classical languages and emeritus Asbury J. Clarke Chair of Latin.

Phil was beloved by students across the years for his expertise, lively and challenging classroom, and his deep interest in his students. Under his tutelage the study of the classics at Dickinson grew and flourished. He established a curriculum founded on Greek and Latin majors and insisted that the study of Biblical Hebrew be included in the curriculum. This earned him quite a reputation in the field, and he was often invited as an outside evaluator and consultant for undergraduate classics programs across the country.

Phil received many awards and honors during his career including Honorable Mention by the Distinguished Teacher Award Committee of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church in 1974. He was also the first winner of the Constance and Rose Ganoe Memorial Award for inspirational teaching in 1969, which he promptly used to assist in establishing the John David Wright III Memorial Scholarship in Classical Studies. He went on to receive the Ganoe Award two additional times in 1973 and 1981, making him the only three-time winner of this student-voted prize.

While at Dickinson, Phil served on various committees and also served as Faculty Secretary in 1966-68. He often assisted in preparing the Latin wording for the honorary degrees that were given at Commencement every year as well as assisted with the planning of the Baccalaureate Ceremony. Phil also established the Philip N. Lockhart Book Prize in Classical Studies that is still awarded to an outstanding graduate majoring in classical studies today. In addition to these and many other commitments at Dickinson, he was president of the Philadelphia Classical Society and the Pennsylvania Classical Association, a member of the American Philological Association, a founding member of the South Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, and served on evaluation teams for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Instruction.

Phil was a member of the Second Presbyterian Church in Carlisle and served several terms as an elder as well as 40 years as a member of its Sanctuary Choir. Additionally, he taught in the community Sunday School teacher training programs and served on the Presbytery Committee on Christian Vocations and Candidate Review.

A ceremony of committal will be held at the Gilgal Presbyterian Church cemetery, 638 Gilgal Road, Marion Center, Pennsylvania on Friday, February 25, 2011 at 11 a.m. A memorial service will be held at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle on Friday, March 4, 2011 at 11 a.m.

Please join me in expressing our most sincere sadness over this loss to the Dickinson community and in celebrating the many years Phil gave in devoted service to the college.

Bill Durden ’71

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