What’s In a Name?
“Yes, I go to Charlotte Latin. No, we don’t all speak Latin.” Most Latin students will likely end up saying this at least once in his or her lifetime. Wearing a Latin t-shirt in public usually raises some questions. The name of our school is something that stands out and is a unique aspect of our history.
In the book, Latin Translations, author Mary Yorke Oates ’83 writes of the founders’ mission, “Their belief was that a school should feature a traditional education, where students must become leaders, and where the classical study of liberal arts… was essential. They wanted a school where academic excellence was encouraged, and a school where students made good choices with regard to honor, citizenship and work ethic.” Although Charlotte Latin would not require Latin or Greek in its curriculum, the founders chose “Charlotte Latin School” as the name, giving a nod to the Colonial America’s first public “Latin” schools — which valued this traditional curriculum oriented to the liberal arts.
Frank Thies, Chairman of Latin’s founding Board of Trustees, stated, “…to the founders, Charlotte Latin represented something of a return to what public education ought to be. The name speaks to that belief.”