NJCL official emblem
The National Junior Classical League
, is an organization of secondary school
students sponsored by the American Classical League
1936, the NJCL comprises Latin, Greek, and Classical
chapters worldwide, including in the United States, Canada, the
Kingdom and Italy.
over 50,000 members, the NJCL is the largest Classical
organization today. Its mission: "to
encourage an interest in and an appreciation of the language, literature and
culture of ancient Greece and Rome and to
impart an understanding of the debt of our own culture to that of
NJCL official colors are Roman purple
We, the members of the Junior Classical League, covenant to hand on
the torch of the classical civilization in the modern world. We
believe an acquaintance with the civilizations of Greece and Rome
will help us to understand and appraise this world of today, which
is indebted to the ancient civilizations in its government and
laws, literature, language, and arts.
We affirm that JCL experience develops responsibility, fosters
brotherhood, promotes enthusiasm, encourages competition, inspires
dedication, and enriches our total growth.
Seeking the best, the highest our goal,
Working for greatness through glories of old,
Searching the realms of the golden past,
We follow the Classic's truths that last.
In knowledge, truth, and fellowship,
We're growing every day.
The friendly hand of JCL aids in every way.
In Rome's proud steps we're marching on
With every true colleague,
And forever we'll hold to the purple and gold,
Of the Junior Classical League!
The NJCL hosts a week long national convention annually at a
in late July or
early August, where 1200-1500 students compete in academic tests
and creative arts competitions. Other components of the convention
in which students may participate include Certamen
, seminars commonly known as Colloquia
, and Ludi (literally "games" — various
recreational events). A theme for the following year's convention
is chosen by the incoming president each year.
Most state-level NJCL
hold annual conventions at locations central to their
attendees, where schools compete in varied events. These events are
divided into academic levels for scoring purposes; participation
can be countywide, regional, or even statewide. Awards are given
out to schools based on sweepstakes points, earned by placing high
in competitive events.
A popular event is the talent show
known as That's Entertainment!
, always held on the night
before the final farewell dance. It consists of skits put on by the
between the individual acts, and since
aroung 1985, a final surprise performance from a group of three
mysterious men in suits and sunglasses, known by most JCLers only
as the Racketeers (for the matching red tennis racket
bags they wear on their heads).
They walk on stage, perform a silent dance routine to a mixtape
-type compilation, and walk off.
The National Convention has been held at many sites since 1954,
usually in late July
or early August
||North Dakota State University
||Non est ad astra mollis e terris via (There is no easy
way from the earth to the stars) -Seneca
||University of California,
||Fortuna nobis vi animi tantum frenabitur (The level of
our success will be limited only by our imagination) -Aesop
||Non nobis solum nati
sumus (We are not born for ourselves alone) -Cicero's De
||University of Tennessee
||Carpe Diem, quam minimum credula postero (Seize the
day, trusting as little as possible in tomorrow) -Horace in Ode I-XI
||Amicitiae nostrae memoriam spero sempiternam fore (I
hope that the memory of our friendship will be everlasting)
||University of Missouri
||Nil sine magno labore (Nothing without great
||University of Richmond
||Facta non verba (Deeds not words)
||San Antonio, Texas
||Natura inest in mentibus nostris insatiabilis quaedam
cupiditas veri videndi (Nature has planted in our minds an
insatiable longing to see the truth) -Cicero
||University of Kentucky
||Magnos homines virtute metimur, non fortuna (We
measure great men by their virtue, not their fortune) -Cornelius Nepos, Eumenes I
||New Orleans, Louisiana
||Vultus ac frons animi ianua (The face and its
expression are the door of the soul) -Quintus Cicero, Commentariolum
Petitionis Consulatus 11
||University of Oklahoma
||Faber est suae quisque fortunae (Each one is the
architect of his own fate) -Appius Claudius Caecus
||Florida State University
||Audentior ito qua tua te fortuna sinet (Continue to go
more boldly where your fortune will allow you) -Virgil
||Patria est communis omnium parens (Our native land is
the common parent of us all) -Cicero
||North Dakota State University
||Aspirat primo fortuna labori (Fortune smiles upon our
first effort) -Virgil
||Nobilitas sola est atque unica virtus (Virtue is the
true and only nobility)
Certamen is a quiz bowl
questions about Roman history, life, and literature, and Latin
vocabulary, grammar, derivatives, and use in English.
There are sixteen written tests that JClers may compete in at
JCL delegates can submit artwork in various categories for contest
Creative Arts at National Convention include Sight Latin Reading,
Costume Contest, Latin and English Oratory, and Dramatic
Olympika are athletic events at National Convention. There are
Olympika in Swimming and Track.
Ludi are athletic events for which sweepstakes points are not
awarded. There are Ludi in chess, soccer, ultimate frisbee,
volleyball, and kickball.
At each National Convention, the student delegates elect officers
from their own ranks. Each state may only field one candidate each
year, and never for a position whose incumbent
is from the same state. The offices are
President, 1st Vice-President, 2nd Vice-President, Secretary,
Parliamentarian, Historian, Editor, and Technology Coordinator.
Voting is conducted by state, with JCL delegates in each state
casting two votes (for or abstention
the exception of a delegation of only one JCLer, in which case only
one vote is allowed.
Current NJCL Officers (2009-10)
- President: Jacob Welch (Richmond, KY)
- 1st Vice-President: Taylor Locks (Spotsylvania, VA)
- 2nd Vice-President: Jack Trunzo (Brookfield, WI)
- Secretary: Katelyn Stermer (Barrington, IL)
- Parliamentarian: Elliot Wilson (St Louis, MO)
- Historian: Charlotte Morrow (Northville, MI)
- Editor: Olivia Ortiz (Mesa, AZ)
- Technology Coordinator: Adam Safadi (Westminster, CO)
As of 2009, more than fifty-one U.S. states and Canadian provinces
maintain their own JCL organizations acting under the affiliation
of the NJCL:
- British Columbia
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
is the NJCL's official publication, which
details the events of the organization, reports scores, and issues
stories. Published four times a year, the only issue sent to all
convention attendees (including non-subscribers) is the fall issue,
shortly after convention. Until recently, this convention
highlights issue included the contact information of all delegates
in attendance for keeping in touch, but given the prominence of
concerns, is no longer included.
Until October 2007, the NJCL also published JCL Highlights
in months when the Torch: U.S.
was not published. JCL
publicized administrative details about the League,
including details about applying for JCL scholarships, information
about the upcoming Convention, and requests for information from
NJCL officers and national committee members. According to the Fall
2007 Torch: U.S.
, the National Committee decided at the
October 2007 Fall Planning Meeting to eliminate the JCL
in favor of online distribution of the same