The spirit of Ross Kilpatrick lives on
Following the death of Prof. Emeritus Ross Kilpatrick (Classics) on Feb. 24, his widow, Sue, wanted to pass along Ross’s academic robes and mortarboard to someone graduating this spring from Yale, Ross’s alma mater. The young scholar who received the paraphernalia, Jessica McCutcheon, wore it to her commencement in May.
“I was honored and very grateful to Sue Kilpatrick and her family for presenting me with this generous gift,” she told the Review.
“Like Ross, I study Latin poetry. His gown and mortarboard are the physical representation of his intellectual legacy, and they’re much more precious to me than something I could have bought or borrowed for graduation.”
It rained on Jessica’s commencement ceremony, and she reports that as she and the other the graduates put up our umbrellas, she yelled “Testudo!” -- which means “tortoise” in Latin, and refers to an ancient battle formation in which combatants overlapped their shields like a giant tortoise shell.
Says Jessica, “My Classics and Ancient History colleagues laughed heartily at this. As you can see in the photo, my gown looks a bit rumpled as a result of my hitching it up and out of the rain.”