North American Scholar

AUSTIN, James Curtiss

  • Image
  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1895-11-28
  • Born City: Pulaski
  • Born State/Country: NY
  • Parents: to Frank W., a postal worker, & Maude Farmer A.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1976-01-06
  • Death City: Pompano Beach
  • Death State/Country: FL
  • Married: Dorothy L. Cuthbert, 9 Jan. 1919; Bertha E. Smith, 23 Apr. 1930.
  • Education:

    A.B. Syracuse, 1916; A.M. U. Illinois, 1919; Ph.D., 1921; study at Vienna & ASCSA.

  • Professional Experience:

    Princ. Westport (NY) HS, 1916-7; asst. prof, to prof. Lat. Colgate, 1921-61.

  • Dissertation:

    "The Significant Name in Terence" (Illinois, 1921); printed U. of Illinois Studies in Language and Literature, VII.4 (Nov. 1921).

  • Notes:

    In addition to his teaching, J. C. Austin was a civic leader in the local community and in New York state, serving on the local school board from 1939 to 1949 and serving as its president from 1945 to 1949. He represented that old breed of classicist who was immensely influential in the community in which he lived because he believed in that Periclean dictum cited by Thucydides that every citizen to be useful had to participate in public affairs. Austin believed in close, personal contact with students and colleagues, and was described as a "fantastic teacher." In his farewell address to the Colgate community on 17 January 1961, he summarized his educational philosophy by saying, "As a Greek and believer in Juvenal's motto, 'mens sana in corpore sano,' I recommend a tough and well-balanced program of education which must include intramural athletics, music, drama, and other activities suited to your talents and interests."

  • Sources:

    Colgate University Archives.

  • Author: John E. Rexine