Hodie honoramus magistrorum magistrarumque magistrum, olim praesidem diligentem Societatis nostrae, nunc et in perpetuum praeceptorem diligendum, non solum linguae Latinae ipsius sed etiam docendae huius, maxime dilectae, linguae. Fautor et columen studiorum antiquorum et in hac urbe numquam dormienti et in hac regione semper imperanti,* liberalissime nobilissimeque dedit suos labores Societati Classicae huius civitatis, ut praeses scribaque, et huius civitatis concilio de linguis docendis, ut princeps. Confirmavit quoque studia Graeca Romanaque per fines patriae nostrae praeclarissime merentissimeque serviens Societati Classicae quae nostram causam totam suam causam fecit,** et Societati Nationis Nostrae Suadenti pro linguis Latina Graecaque. Apud suam universitatem, cui Cura Futuri est magni momenti,*** fecit discipulas discipulosque causam totam suam, ut cor et anima praeparandorum erudiendorumque docentium docturorumque. Plaudamus igitur William J Mayer.
Today we honor a teacher of teachers, in the past a hard-working president of this organization, at present and in the future a teacher to be cherished, a teacher not only of the Latin language itself but also of teaching this most beloved language. A champion and bulwark of classical studies both here in New York City and throughout the New York metropolitan region, he has most generously and magnanimously contributed his labors to the Classical Association of the Empire State, as president and recording secretary, and to the New York State Council on Languages, as chair. He has also strengthened the study of classics throughout our country, with his outstanding and deservedly recognized service to the American Classical League, and as chair of the National Committee for Latin and Greek. He has been the heart and soul of the Latin teacher preparation program at Hunter College, where, in many decades of teaching, he made his students the center of his existence. Let us therefore applaud William J. Mayer.
Judith P. Hallett
University of Maryland, College Park
* New York’s official Latin motto has always been “Excelsior”; but it allegedly received its longstanding nickname—the “Empire State”—from our pater patriae himself, George Washington.
** The motto of the American Classical League, which recognized William J. Mayer with its Meritus/Merita Award in 2003, is Vestra Causa Tota Nostra Est.
*** Mihi Cura Futuri, motto of Hunter College.