The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is pleased to announce a major gift from Gareth Schmeling and Silvia Montiglio in support of the new Student Center in Athens. The couple named the Schmeling-Montiglio Suite, a two-room apartment located on the second floor in Loring Hall that was formerly known as the “Queen’s Megaron.”

Gareth Schmeling and Silvia Montiglio

Gareth Schmeling and Silvia Montiglio (photo by Michele Asuni, 2016–2017 Fowler Merle-Smith Fellow, American School)

Gareth Schmeling, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Classics at the University of Florida, was a Regular Member of the School in 1965–1966. He returned to Athens as a trailing spouse when Silvia was a Senior Associate Member in 2011–2012. Silvia Montiglio is currently Gildersleeve Professor of Classics at Johns Hopkins University. (Basil L. Gildersleeve was one of the founding members of the American School in the 1880s.)

“We are honored to support the American School’s efforts in remodeling Loring Hall, in whose Queen’s Megaron we had stayed. We fondly remember the months spent in the company of congenial fellows and staff while conducting research at the Blegen Library and relaxing in the late afternoons at ouzo hour on the East Terrace,” Gareth and Silvia reflected.

“For 140 years, the American School has remained faithful to its original purpose of championing Classical Studies,” shared Gareth. “This inspired our decision to give.”

The news of their gift was received with great joy by members of the American School community. Alan Shapiro, W. H. Collins Vickers Professor of Archaeology Emeritus and Academy Professor at John Hopkins University and Silvia’s colleague for five years, thought this gift was “a fitting gesture and a most welcome donation in honor of their time at the School.” Brendan Burke, who had Gareth as a professor, said that he was “an inspiring teacher of Latin who also provided very helpful advice as I was beginning my graduate studies.”

George Orfanakos, Executive Director of the School, said, “It is clear that the personal and professional relationships that Gareth and Silvia formed during their time at the American School have played an integral role in their lives as individuals and scholars. Through their support, they are ensuring that future students will have these same opportunities. We are truly grateful for their generous contribution.”

The Queen's Megaraon Living Room

The living room of the Queen's Megaron prior to renovation

About Gareth Schmeling and Silvia Montiglio

Gareth Schmeling has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Council of Learned Societies, and has won the Rome Prize in Classics. He has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Colorado, Johns Hopkins University, and spent most of his career at the University of Florida, where he founded the Classics Department in 1975. Professor Schmeling authored Chariton (Twayne, 1974), Xenophon of Ephesus (G. K. Hall, 1980), A Commentary on the Satyrica of Petronius (Oxford University Press, 2011), and articles on the ancient novel. He co-authored A Bibliography of Petronius (Brill, 1977) and edited the Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri (Teubner, 1988), The Novel in the Ancient World (Brill, 1996; second edition 2003), and Petronius, The Satyricon; Seneca, Apocolocyntosis (Harvard University Press, Loeb Series, 2020). In 1970, he founded the Petronian Society and edited its Newsletter from 1970 to 2005. For the Classical Association of the Middle-West and South, he was Secretary-Treasurer (1975–1981) and President (1985–1986). In 2006, a Festschrift, Authors, Authority, and Interpreters in the Ancient Novel (Barkhuis, Groningen), was presented to him. Since 2009, he has been Leading Editor of Ancient Narrative (University of Groningen).

Silvia Montiglio is primarily a Hellenist, though her research and teaching interests span across several authors of both Greek and Roman literature and aspects of both cultures. Professor Montiglio is the author of several books. Silence in the Land of Logos (Princeton University Press, 2000; paperback edition, 2010) explores the meanings of silence in a variety of areas of the archaic and classical Greek world—for instance, in religion, politics, public speaking, and theatrical performances. Her second book, Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture (The University of Chicago Press, 2005), studies the associations attached to wandering in Greek sources from the archaic to the Greco-Roman period. From Villain to Hero: Odysseus in Ancient Thought (The University of Michigan Press, 2011) investigates the exploitation of Odysseus by Greek and Roman philosophers. Another book, Love and Providence: Recognition in the Ancient Novel (Oxford University Press, 2012), deals with the uses and meanings of recognition in the Greek and Roman novels in the context of their literary tradition. Her penultimate monograph, The Spell of Hypnos: Sleep and Sleeplessness in Greek Literature (I. B. Tauris, 2015), investigates how Greek epic, drama, and the novel make use of sleep and sleeplessness in the construction of plot and characters. Her latest monograph, The Myth of Hero and Leander: The History and Reception of an Enduring Greek Legend (I. B. Tauris, 2018), follows the legend of the two star-crossed lovers in antiquity and in the middle ages, with forays into more modern periods. She has also edited, with Marilia Futre Pinheiro, Philosophy and the Ancient Novel (Ancient Narrative Supplement 20, 2015). In addition, she has translated, with A. Grieco, the De somniis libri of Gerolamo Cardano, in two volumes (Marsilio, 1989, 1993). Professor Montiglio received her French Doctorat from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris in 1995. She has been Gildersleeve Professor of Classics at Johns Hopkins since 2010.

About the Student Center Campaign

The Student Center Campaign was launched in October 2018 to raise funds for renovating and expanding the three aging buildings that serve as the intellectual and residential heart of the American School: Loring Hall, the Annex, and West House. This transformative project will increase housing capacity, reduce energy consumption, add state-of-the-art features and technology, and bring the buildings up to the latest technical standards—all while preserving the complex’s historical appearance. The Student Center will remain the place where members of the community gather for meals, tea, ouzo hour, holiday celebrations, and lectures—a source of lifelong professional and personal relationships that characterize the collegial and intellectually vibrant atmosphere of the School. This modernized setting will enhance that experience and will meet the needs of the School community well into the future.

Support the Campaign

The goal of the Student Center campaign is $9.4 million, inclusive of a maintenance endowment. Thanks to generous supporters like Gareth and Silvia, $6.6 million has been raised to date. The new Student Center is expected to open in June 2021.

To learn more about how you can support this historic initiative, please contact Nancy Savaides, Director of Stewardship and Engagement, at or 609-454-6810. Naming opportunities for a variety of spaces in the Student Center are still available. Donors can choose from a wide range of gift levels to name a room or area in honor of themselves, an American School scholar, or a family member, friend, or group. Please click the links below to view the nameable spaces and options that remain:

Make a Gift

Student Center Construction Photo Gallery

Click this link to view more photographs of the work in progress.