Earlier this semester, Henry was honored with Henry Luce Fellowship. While at UNC, the Phi Beta Kappa member has served in a variety of positions, including the student body’s deputy student attorney general and solicitor general.

Henry Ross
BA ’13

ross_henry_13In Tristia 3.13 Ovid’s friend asks him: quid tibi cum Ponto? (“What business do you have in Pontus?”). With two months left until I head off to Asia for a year, I often find myself having to explain what business I have in Thailand. I am not exiled. Nor am I in search of the Bithynian litter-carriers of Cinna in Catullus 10. My Asian travels are for employment and exploration. Much more than that I do not yet know.

The Henry Luce Foundation, which is generously underwriting my travels, selected 17 other recent or future graduates from nominating universities across the country to participate in the program. Their academic backgrounds are wide-ranging (I am the only Classics student) and—by definition—cannot include significant exposure to Asian languages or cultures. Leadership ability is a stated criterion as well, though I myself have not occupied an elected leadership position since the real estate bubble collapsed.

Orientation, as it is aptly called, commences in New York City in mid-June and wraps up in the Asia Foundation’s San Francisco offices at the end of the month. Sometime before then, I will choose from a list of placements arranged by the Luce and Asia foundations. After two months of immersive, in-country language training, I will begin work with a criminal-law related organization. The exciting potential options include a legal aid service, a department of corrections, or a local court.

Next year will be an intellectual and personal journey of a very different sort, but I feel well prepared to engage with this new world by my study of the ancient one. My long-term plans are to attend law school, where I will begin dutifully applying the phraseology of one of history’s most beautiful languages to American legal formulae.