Classics Program

Trey Frye Receives “Excellence in Greek” Award

Senior Trey Frye ‘12, SU’s first Greek major, garners recognition at Honors Assembly.

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    Trey Frye
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    Trey's Capstone participants
  • News Image
    Trey's Capstone participants
  • News Image
    Trey Frye

December 02, 2011

Senior Greek major Trey Frye received SU’s “Excellence in Greek” Award at SU’s annual Honors Assembly. Dr. H. Haskell, Professor of Chair of the Classics Program, presented the award. The citation reads:

On behalf of the Classics Program, I am delighted to recognize senior Trey Frye as the recipient of the 2012 Excellence in Greek Award. In Classics we do not award a prize every year, but rather only when we have an extraordinarily strong student. Trey is such a student.

We have had the Greek Major on the books for some time. Many have attempted this major. Trey is the first survive its challenges through to the end. In fact, he has thrived, earning accolades nationally. In courses team taught by Classics professors around the country, Trey consistently has performed very impressively, and in fact at a meeting just a couple of weeks ago in Washington, several distinguished colleagues asked about Trey and expressed yet again their admiration for his work.

It is fair to say that Trey has stretched me WELL beyond my comfort zone. His insightful capstone project focused on St. Justin the Martyr, the 2nd century Christian theologian who had the audacity to respond openly to philosophical attacks on Christianity. This semester we are reading, at Trey’s request, Eusebius, the 3rd-4th century church historian whose extended, periodic style of Greek prose stretches our minds with its delightful elasticities.

Typically, Classicists dance right by such early Christian authors. I myself have had to stretch to get up to speed, and I am extremely grateful to Trey for dragging me forth to extend my own professional boundaries.

I present to Trey The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies, a wonderful resource to which I wish I myself had had access as I was getting up to speed on Justin and Eusebius.

In December, Trey presented his Greek major Capstone to an enthusiastic audience. Trey is SU’s first Greek major, joining a distinguished list of Classics and Latin majors (see Student and Alumni Stories).

Trey’s Capstone project was on Justin the Martyr, a second century AD Christian apologist who was the first Christian scholar to embrace Greek philosophy as a way to articulate the ultimate truth of Christianity. Earlier proponents of Christianity had turned their backs on Greek philosophy as inherently hostile to the new religion.

Trey’s presentation was the culmination of a semester long course with Dr. Hal Haskell, Professor and Chair of the Classics Program. The Greek Capstone project results in a formal paper and an oral presentation to an interdepartmental committee, chosen by the student and the faculty project advisor.

SU students may major in Classics, Latin, or Greek. Winston Churchill wrote [In an ideal school] “I would make them all learn English: and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat.” (My Early Life: A Roving Commission)

Last spring, Trey presented a paper at a national Classics conference in Washington, DC, where he discussed facets of Athenian ideals of manhood from 4th century legal oratory in his paper “Demosthenes and the Great Man in ‘Against Conon’”. This paper evolved from Trey’s work in a collaborative course the previous fall semester, a team-taught course with students and professors from around the country.

This year, Trey presented “St. Justin and the Graeco-Roman World: An Analysis of Justin’s Presentation of Christianity as the Fulfillment of Graeco-Roman Tradition.” This paper addresses the philosophical position of St. Justin Martyr (Abstract; Paper [PDF]). Trey’s work ventures into a period to which sufficient scholarly attention has not been devoted, especially in the case of early Christian writers such as Justin. This work springs from Trey’s fall 2011 Senior Capstone project.

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