Today Eric completed the oral examination for his PhD prelims and will be heading off to Rome next week to begin work on his dissertation as the first Marti Fellow to the American Academy.
As Professor Scott told us today over champagne following Eric's exam, Berthe Marti was partial to three institutions: Bryn Mawr College, UNC Chapel Hill, and the American Academy. Her dream was to send one Bryn Mawr and one UNC graduate to the Academy each year on a fellowship, a dream which the changing times and financial constraints have forced to compromise.
All of us here know that Eric will do everyone proud.
Here's a biographical sketch of Berthe Marti written by Bryn Mawr alumn Eleanor Dickey (A.B./M.A. 1989) while still an undergraduate:
Berthe Marti, a graduate of the University of Lausanne, came to Bryn Mawr as a graduate student in 1925, wrote her dissertation with Lily Ross Taylor, and received her Ph.D. in 1934. She began teaching in 1930 and remained at Bryn Mawr until 1963. Although most famous as a medievalist, she also taught classical Latin and sometimes French.
What that doesn't tell you (but what Professor Scott told us) is that she was forced to leave by the strict retirement laws in effect in those days. That led to her tenure at UNC, where the laws were freer.
Once again, congratulations. As Jason once told me, 'Eric is the only one of us well on his way to becoming a true scholar.'