2009 ICC Lifetime Achievement Award:
The Illinois Classical Conference Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2006 in order to recognize those individuals who have made outstanding contribution to ICC and to the promotion of the Classics in the State of Illinois. The intent of this award is to celebrate special accomplishments for the Classical world over a long period of time. Previous recipients of this award have included Lou and Marie Bolchazy, Charlie Speck, Judy Hayes, Elisa Denja, LeaAnn Osburn, Bill Napiwocki and Lanetta Warrenburg.
Tonight we would like to recognize another worthy recipient of this award, someone who has spent a lifetime tirelessly and enthusiastically promoting Latin in her beloved Chicago and especially in the Chicago Public Schools. A native of Hyde Park, our honoree graduated from Bryn Mawr College cum laude with honors, in Latin of course. She then earned an MA in Latin from the University of Chicago before beginning her long career as a Latin teacher par excellence.
In particular we must mention her work as an innovator in Latin for elementary school students. For more twenty five years, as a part-time Latin teacher at William H. Ray Elementary School, she provided a special Latin curriculum for second, third, and fourth grades. She will especially be remembered at Ray for writing, producing and directing annual Latin plays based on classical mythology. In 1995 she also began teaching Latin at Kenwood academy where she brought the Latin 1 course in line with national curriculum, improved relations with parents and colleagues, and recently passed a strong and vibrant multi-year program on to a grateful successor. At both schools she encouraged her students to participate in the National Mythology Exam and National Latin Exam.
Her efforts went beyond her own students and her own school walls. She also helped to organize Latin Olympics and Archaeology Day for Latin students in the Chicago Public Schools. Through the Archaeology Day program she have has had a positive impact on the lives of thousands of students, their teachers and parents.
In 1995 she was the recipient of the Farrand Baker Illinois Latin Teacher of the Year Award. She has been the local chair and organizer of several annual meetings of the Illinois Classical Conference, which she has also served as Vice-President and most recently as President.
Known to many of her students as Domina Morus, we know her better as Alice Newman Mulberry.
We can cite no better tributes to Alice than those collected by her husband Jay for her retirement last June. Here are just a few of the words used to describe Alice by the people who know her best:
Never has there been a kinder, more dedicated, more energetic promoter of Latin in the schools of Chicago than Alice Mulberry.
Many of the children from Ray, Kenwood and Hyde Park High School have benefited enormously from her extraordinary dedication to educational excellence, love of language, especially Latin, and the history of the Classics. Her love and commitment to teaching and learning are obvious.
Alice is a flower of a human being. She shares much of the same profile/characteristics of one of her favorite flowering plants, the geranium. Like a perennial, year after year she can be counted on for her help and support. She is hardy and resilient and hidden within her small stature is a gentle giant with strong values.
Alice is the paradigm of dedication, generosity, and willingness to serve, whatever the circumstances.
One of her students notes how Mrs. Mulberry has transformed her life, and the lives of many others. “To me,” she writes, “Latin is everything, but without her, it would be nothing.” Another observes how she could try to compare Alice to Caesar, to Pompey, to any great Roman, but argues persuasively that not one of these famous Romans could live up to Alice’s dedication, spirit for Latin, and love of her students.
The principal of Ray School describes Alice as a living legend who will remain in her memory as one of the phenomenal people in the history of Ray School.
One person calls her Classical Ubiquity! Another admires her keen intelligence, her enthusiasm and creativity, and her dedication to keeping Latin alive in the hearts and minds of young Americans.
A fellow Latin teacher says that she will always associate Alice with the ICC and with the Chicago Public School Latin Olympics and observes that anyone who ever attended an event that Alice planned appreciated calm demeanor and style.
These are just a few of the strong testimonials which make it most appropriate that tonight we honor Alice Newman Mulberry for many years of faithful service to ICC and to the teaching of Latin.