This year, three Howard students will graduate with minors in classical civilization, Dr. Wutoh said. In 2020, five graduated with the minor, and in the past year, over a thousand students have taken courses in the classics department. Howard, which is in Washington, has an enrollment of about 10,000, including undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

For Tiye Williamson, 19, the classics department played a pivotal role in her decision to go to Howard. While growing up, she developed a passion for translating Latin and became fascinated with its role in biology.

“Seeing Black people translate, with such proficiency, at a place of higher learning was something that I only experienced at Howard,” said Ms. Williamson, who is pursuing an interdisciplinary humanities major.

Ms. Williamson said that even though parts of the program would stay intact, its loss as a stand-alone department would be felt.

“I feel like the classics department is just the beginning,” she said. “Other smaller departments could be on the chopping block next.”

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