B.L. D’Ooge, An Early CAMWS Officer

Martha J. Payne

Among the officers of CAMWS in the early years of the organization was Benjamin Leonard D’Ooge (1860-1940).  D’Ooge was one of the charter members of CAMWS, served as the first Secretary-Treasurer of CAMWS from 1905 to 1908, and as CAMWS President from 1910 to 1911.  D’Ooge came from a Dutch Huguenot family in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He studied Classics at the University of Michigan at a time when his older brother, Martin, was Chairman of the Classics Department.  Eventually D’Ooge went on to a distinguished career teaching Latin at Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University) in Ypsilanti, Michigan after earning a Doctorate in Latin at the University of Bonn, Germany (1901).

In his long tenure at Michigan State Normal College (1886-1937) D’Ooge was known to be a fine teacher, and he was particularly interested in training future high school Latin teachers.  As an outgrowth of this interest, D’Ooge wrote many Latin grammar books both as textbooks for students, including Latin for Beginners (Ginn & Co., 1911), and as reference works, such as Concise Latin Grammar (Ginn & Co., 1921). 

This illustrated talk will discuss the life of B.L. D’Ooge and emphasize his contributions to the discipline of Latin studies and teacher training.  B.L. D’Ooge’s legacy to Classics also includes someone who is a current member of CAMWS.

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