The Convocation tradition at USM began in the early 1980s to provide an opportunity for members of the University Community to engage in a collective exploration of a broad-based theme through a series of relevant events. While a typical Convocation takes place over a single academic year and occurs every other academic year, in recent years we have held multi-year thematic Convocations. In 2000, the University of Maine System Board of Trustees approved naming the Convocation in honor of the late Gloria S. Duclos, Professor Emerita of Classics, and a faculty leader who taught at USM from 1962 until 1992. During that period she maintained USM’s classical languages and cultures curriculum, was a founding designer of the University Honors Program, and was an active and highly respected member of the Classical Association of New England.
The Provost issues a call for Convocation themes at their discretion (annually or bi-annually), and faculty and staff proposals are reviewed by a selection committee convened by the Provost.
Biography of Gloria S. Duclos
Above all, Gloria S. Duclos (1928-1998) was a humanitarian, an avid supporter and advocate for studying the humanities as a way to prepare ourselves for both the beauty and the complexities of life in this dense and diverse world in which we seek meaning and purpose, for ourselves and for our communities.
Trained at Radcliffe College, Oxford University, Harvard University, and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Gloria was an extraordinarily well-rounded scholar whose humility and equanimity remained a constant throughout her life. Equally at home teaching ancient Greek or Latin, she also had a command of ancient history, philosophy, archaeology, and especially, literature. Through these forms, she expanded her own and others’ sense of self: as a feminist, a pacifist, and a deeply insightful educator. A true humanist and lifelong advocate for Liberal Arts education, Gloria helped design and launch the Honors Program at the University of Southern Maine and extended her knowledge of the ancient world through the University’s Continuing Education and Elderhostel Programs, through many summer institutes for high school students and secondary school teachers, and through her co-founding of the Classical Association of New England. A Professor Emerita of Classics, and a faculty leader, Duclos taught at the University of Southern Maine from 1962 until 1992.