Alex Kowal ’20 Wins Delmas Award

Congratulations to Alex Kowal ’20, winner of the 2018-19 Lawrenceville School Delmas Award. The award, given to a Third of Fourth Form Lawrentian for excellence in the study of Latin or Greek, provides a stipend to support summer studies in either Rome or Greece. The Delmas Award is given in honor of former Lawrenceville Head Master Josiah Bunting III.
Kowal will study for two weeks this summer in The Paideia Institute’s Living Greek in Greece program, which Classics Master Scott Barnard called “an excellent program and a wonderful choice. [Lawrenceville has] sent many students to participate in programs similar to this one, and they have all raved about their experiences.”
According to Barnard, Kowal has shown a great aptitude for the nuts and bolts of ancient Greek during his ten weeks of study. “He clearly has a deep and burgeoning curiosity about the culture and literature of ancient Greece, and he speaks with excitement about continuing to pursue his interest in Classics at the university level,” said Barnard. “The summer program in which Alex will participate is an intensive, two-week language course that will be offered primarily in Athens, but which will also allow him to explore many significant historical sites throughout Greece. I am confident that Alex's language skills will grow immensely from his participation in this program, and that he will get a very good sense of what it is like to live and work as a professional Classicist.”
Interview with Alex Kowal ‘20
Q: What inspired you to study ancient Greek?
A: I have always been so enthralled by the study of classics and language. Ancient languages are so interesting to me because they show just how simple yet complex linguistics can be. Whether they are computer code, braille, or any spoken dialect, they're all just languages working in similar fashions, and studying ancient languages has helped me understand that.
I have been studying Latin since fifth grade and took an ancient Greek and Roman history course in ninth grade at The Eaglebrook School. My father and sister both studied Greek and often tell me how interesting it was for them, so when my Latin teacher in sophomore year, Dr. Barnard, had mentioned that there was the opportunity to take ancient Greek as a year-long course for junior year, I immediately made my decision to take it.
Q: Have you ever been to Greece?
A: I have never been to Athens before as I do not travel out of the country often. This past summer though, I partook in Lawrenceville's trip to Italy, specifically Rome and the Bay of Naples, for Roman history and Latin. This trip was life-changing and partially the reason I signed up for the Paideia Institute.
Q: What do you hope to learn during your studies in Athens?
During my trip to Greece, I hope to learn not only more about the history of the language but also about the culture and differences that there are between my daily life in the northeast of America and of that in Greece. I'd like to learn about how great the changes were between ancient Greece and modern Greece, and I would also like to learn about the monuments and landmarks that have lasted since antiquity. I mostly look forward to actually seeing up close the buildings and places I have read about and meeting the other high school students who are also so interested in Classics.
I am so excited to go on this trip. The fact that I even get the opportunity to go is so amazing to me. I feel so honored to have received this award and I cannot thank [Classics Masters] Ms.[Devondra] McMillan and Dr. Barnard enough for giving me this chance to learn. I cannot wait to land in Athens and begin my academic adventure and I cannot wait to come back with all new information to share with my fellow students and teachers at school.
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