Several years ago, there was a similar organization of classical students, known as the Philological Society; its aims and methods, however, were somewhat different from those of the present club. It sought to promote the cause of classical learning by supporting occasional public lectures, and seems to have paid less attention to individual work on the part of the members. After an existence of several years, it became extinct.
The present society was organized with a view to the improvement of its own members, rather than for doing any public work. Its membership consists of instructors connected with the Classical Department of the University, of graduate students in Philology, and of students who, having taken second year honors in Classics, or having entered on advanced standing from some other college, are devoting their main attention to classical work. Honorary members may occasionally be elected. The objects of the society are two-fold: to promote social intercourse between the instructors and the students of the Classical Department, and to encourage original work among the student members. The club holds biweekly meetings, alternately at the rooms of an instructor and of a student. The meetings held with the instructors are devoted to social intercourse, and form a pleasant and profitable feature of the club. The subjects of conversation are of course largely classical, although there are no set topics for discussion. The free and cordial way in which students and instructors mingle with one another is a proof, not only of the progress which has made a university out of a college, but also of the effect of the elective system in establishing a community of interest between instructors and students. The student's familiarity with the professor can hardly fail to stimulate his enthusiasm in his chosen field of work. At the meetings held with the student members, a student reads a paper on some subject connected with classical study, and selected by himself, which is followed by a discussion more or less general. These papers are the results of considerable investigation on the part of the writers, and put the other members in possession of many valuable facts.
Of course, from the nature of the case, the club can never expect a very large membership. It has at present twenty-seven names upon its list, of which seventeen are students. This is a good number for a society with such aims and requirements. As an assistance to the regular work of the Classical Department, it is of the greatest value, - a fact which instructors as well as students have not been slow to recognize.