After each semester at Middlesex, we gather to celebrate the academic achievements of our students at the Academic Awards Assembly. At this week's assembly, we acknowledged work done in the 2015 fall semester. For a full list of awards, please click here.
Alex Banay, Head of the Classics Department, was the featured speaker at the assembly. The School's first female Senior Master, the most senior member of the faculty, Mrs. Banay joined the faculty in 1976 after receiving two first class degrees from Oxford University. She recounted Ovid's story of Philemon and Baucis, an old married couple who were the only ones in their small town to demonstrate hospitality to strangers and welcome two disguised gods into their home. The gods sent a flood to destroy the town, but they saved the pious couple. To reward Philemon and Baucis, the gods turned their small cottage into a beautiful temple and granted the couple's two wishes: to become guardians of the temple, and not to outlive each other. Upon their, Philemon and Baucis transformed into two intertwining trees - one linden and one oak.
"Stories have powerful and sustaining messages," said Mrs. Banay. "The story of Philemon and Baucis teaches us to keep an open heart to others, and to maintain faith in our common humanity."
Alex Banay, Head of the Classics Department