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History of the Rome Program

Dr. Ed Best with crowd
Dr. Ed Best

1970-73, 1975-76, 1982 

After my first trip to Rome and Greece in 1964, I had been eager for University of Georgia students to experience the same excitement and intellectual stimulus that I had had. So it was with a great deal of eagerness that in late 1969 I began discussions with Al Steer who, as Head of the German Department, had established the German study abroad program and was at the time the University Director for Study Abroad Programs. With his support, I approached Jimmy Alexander, Head of the Classics Department. Jimmy, who had been a student scholar in Italy before World War II and had always had a deep affection for Italy, was encouraging and supportive. Read more...


Dr. Timothy Gantz
Dr. Timothy Gantz

1977-1980, 1983-2003

Timothy Gantz' first long stay in Rome was in 1965 when he was an undergraduate at Haverford spending a semester at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. In the years that followed, he was back there as a visitor and also as a teacher at the Center in 1971 and ‘72, but he always felt that that first time as an undergraduate had been especially important for his formation, and he would often refer to it in relation to the UGA Classics Study Abroad Program, wishing for his students that they would have an equally meaningful experience. Read more...


Dr. Ingrid Edlund
Dr. Ingrid Edlund



I have many happy memories from the summers of 1975 and 1976 when I taught at the UGA program in Rome. For many students it was their first trip abroad and I remember their bewilderment in trying to adjust to life in downtown Rome. As Dr. Best pointed out in his account of the history of the program, the location of Pensione Ercoli on via Collina was ideal just for this reason that the students could experience a real neighborhood with small shops and restaurants and yet be close to the ancient monuments. . One of their first assignments was to locate the five monuments that were closest to the hotel, ranging from the Gardens of Sallust to tombs along the Aurelian wall. Read more...


Dr. David Thompson

Dr. David Thompson

1974, 1987, 1992


Excitement is what comes to mind when I think of David. He just seemed to know what is wonderful in life. We would meet him in Rome in the summer, and invariably there was a restaurant he had just heard of, a new wine we had to try, a piece of music we had to listen to…. And then there were the stories about people he knew, foods he had tasted, places he wanted to visit. Life had to be lived with passion, big and small things had to be savored. 

I don’t think it was possible to come in contact with David without being charmed. He always started his tour of Herculaneum... Read more...


Dr. Elena Bianchelli
Dr. Elena Bianchelli

1988, 1990, 1993, 1995-2003, 2014-present



My first encounter with the UGA Classics Study Abroad Program in Rome was in 1983 when, as a young wife, I accompanied my husband Timothy Gantz, who was teaching in the program along with Dr. Alexander.  After that, I would be back year after year, as a wife, an observer and one of the teachers, affording me the longest association with the program of any living professor. After my husband's untimely death in 2004, I thought I would never be part of the program again, but ten years later, with much time gone by and my son a sophomore in college, I was offered the position of director, and I jumped at the opportunity as it felt right to be back. Read more...


Dr. Linda J. Piper
Dr. Linda J. Piper



Although I had encountered Dr. Linda Piper at various Classics Department functions, I really got to know her via her role as co-faculty director for the 1985 Classics Study Rome Program. At the time, I taught Latin at a metro Atlanta high school and was interested in embedding more historical connections and art history into Latin language instruction. Of course, the depth and breadth of the on-site visits in Rome, Naples, Paestum, Athens, Crete, Olympia, and Delphi was enticing but equally so was the opportunity to learn from two outstanding master teachers, Dr. Timothy Gantz, Classics professor and Dr. Linda J. Piper, History professor. Read more...


Dr. Howard Shealy


The summer of 1984 was typically hot in both Rome and Athens, and in those days almost nothing was air conditioned. At that point in its history, the program was based in Rome for four weeks, Athens for two, and then returned to Rome for a final two weeks. In spite of the summer heat, I felt that I was a very lucky young faculty member. Along with Professor Tom Poss, I had been chosen to help study abroad director Dr. Timothy Gantz teach (and manage) a bumper crop of students. I had spent the previous summer as a participant in an NEH summer seminar on medieval Rome, but I knew almost nothing about the classical city beyond the major tourist sites. Read more...

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