Carol Dana Lanham Memorial Endowment for Books in Medieval Latin Studies
Carol Dana Lanham, a lifelong learner, impacted the field of classics at UCLA and beyond.
When Carol Dana graduated from high school in Marblehead, Massachusetts, in 1953, she took away not only four years of Latin instruction but a prize book that her teacher had inscribed, “To the Best Latin Student I Have Ever Taught.” She continued her education at the same level of excellence, graduating from Connecticut College cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. While there, she met her future husband, Richard Lanham; their courtship resulted in a marriage that lasted fifty years. While her husband completed his military service and then a PhD, she worked, as she described it, “in a succession of intellectually rewarding office jobs.” At Dartmouth College, where her husband found a faculty position, she began studying Greek, and when he moved to UCLA, she enrolled as a graduate student in classics. At UCLA, Ms. Lanham was fortunate to find Bengt Löfstedt, one of the world’s premier medieval Latin scholars. In 1973, under his guidance, she earned the first PhD awarded by the UCLA Department of Classics.
Her 1975 dissertation, “Salutatio Formulas in Latin Letters to 1200: Syntax, Style, and Theory,” remains the standard work on its subject. Her subsequent career combined teaching, writing, and working as principal editor at the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Among her edited volumes, the most important is Latin Grammar and Rhetoric: From Classical Theory to Medieval Practice (2002). Ms. Lanham concluded her fiftieth college reunion yearbook autobiography by writing, “I want to keep learning, to become a scholar.” Sadly, she died of a brain hemorrhage in November 2007. In loving memory, her husband, professor emeritus of English at the university, established this collection endowment for the library she came to love so well.