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Longtime Classics Teacher Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

In October, the Illinois Classical Conference (ICC) presented Mr. David J. Mathers, longtime Loyola Academy Greek and Latin teacher, with the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Mathers retired in the spring of 2021 after a career that spanned over three decades at Loyola. 
The ICC Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contribution to the ICC and to the promotion of the Classics in the State of Illinois over at least a ten year period. Honorees receive an engraved bowl to commemorate the occasion. 

“In the course of his teaching career at Loyola Academy, Dave has made unparalleled contributions to the Classical studies in Illinois, to his colleagues, and—most importantly—in the lives of his students,” says fellow Classical Languages Teacher Dr. Bill Lowe, who nominated Mathers for the prestigious award.

Among those contributions includes leading Loyola’s Greek program—the Academy is one of only a handful of secondary schools in the nation that offers four years of Classical Greek. Mr. Mathers guided everything from the program’s overall structure and progression to its specific syllabi. 

Mr. Mathers also served for many years as the leader of the Dumbach Scholars Honors Program, which offers students a broad introduction to the arts and architecture, literature, drama and film. In a world increasingly focused on STEM studies, this humanities-based program thrived under his guidance. 

Perhaps most significant among his contributions is Loyola’s Classics Tour, an intensive summer immersion course in the classical humanities which Mr. Mathers designed and led. “The Classics Tour, for so many students, is the most memorable part of their education at Loyola Academy,” says Lowe, who notes Mr. Mathers’ remarkable intellectual range as the foundation of a tour of such breadth and depth.  

Lowe added that it was Mathers’ dedication and commitment to the field of Classics, paired with his ability to build enduring relationships, that made him emerge as one of the most influential teachers for many Ramblers during their Loyola experience.

We congratulate Mr. Mathers on this remarkable achievement!
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