The original McMaster Classics Club, known then as the “McMaster Classical Club”, was founded in 1930 upon the University’s relocation from Toronto to Hamilton. The club was originally open to members of the university and the community at large for a small annual membership fee of a dollar.
The club was founded with the mission to promote “all things Classical”, and soon became a vibrant part of the University. Through the guidance of Dr. Edward Togo Salmon, who served as President of the club for several years, the club enjoyed great popularity and turnout. Early club activities included the organization of events such as: the production of Greek tragedies using the translations of students; public lectures; classically themed banquets; and an annual trip to the Royal Ontario Museum. These events were often featured in early issues of the Silhouette, as well as the Hamilton Spectator.
The club disbanded sometime after 1942 and remained defunct for a number of years. We know little about successive Classics Clubs, and there is a sizable gap in our material record. There appear to have been some attempts to revive the club in the 1980s and 1990s, but these attempts proved unfruitful.
Finally, in 2004 a club was founded based on the principles of the original McMaster Classical Club. This club was named the “McMaster Classics Club”. The new club continues to adhere to the ideals of academic excellence, intellectual fellowship, and dedication to the University community. Many past members and Executive Councillors of the club have gone on to academic careers, and several are now pursuing graduate studies in Classics. The new club also retains several of the traditions of the original club, including the annual trip to the Royal Ontario Museum.
The Classics Club now hosts a wide range of events each academic year. The most prominent of these include: pub nights, in which undergraduates can talk comfortably with professors and get to know their classmates; the Annual Undergraduate Classics Conference, in which undergraduates can present papers before the Department of Classics and their fellows and attend a guest lecture given by a preeminent Classicist; and our cherished annual trip to the Royal Ontario Museum, which includes a detailed tour of the Museum’s Greek and Roman collections.