In memoriam Corrie Schumann

† Cornelia Johanna Schumann (Née: de Waal): January 8, 1941 – 16 March 2022

It is with great sadness that we announce to you the passing of Corrie Schumann on 16 March 2022.

Corrie Schumann was born in Pretoria where she matriculated at the Afrikaans Hoër Meisieskool. She received her further education at the University of Stellenbosch where she obtained the BA degree and SOD with Latin and Afrikaans as majors. Serving as primaria of her residence, Huis Monica, she already as a student exhibited exceptional leadership qualities. She started her career as Latin teacher at Die Hoërskool Oudtshoorn in 1963, but then moved to Kimberley where she taught at Kimberley Boys’ High till 1965. Later, in the early 1980s, she held relief positions at Verwoerdburg Hoërskool, Die Hoërskool Menlopark and Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool Pretoria. In 1965 Corrie married Werner Schumann and out of the marriage five children were born. Werner died of brain cancer in 1990 and Corrie devoted herself with even greater dedication to the promotion of Latin, especially for school children. In 1984 she was appointed lecturer in the Department of Latin at the University of Pretoria to help with the vast number of students who had to take the first-year course in Legal Latin. As a result of her desire to promote a wider interest in and awareness of Latin, in 1989 she founded the Academia Latina centre at the university and initiated the following from there:

In 1989, Schola Latina classes on the UP campus where primary school pupils were taught Latin in the afternoons.

In 1990, the Schola Scripta course, a Latin correspondence course. In due course, this was completed by more than 2000 pupils, students and adults, each of whom received a certificate from UP.

From 1990-1998, she organized SPQR Latin Days for high school students on the UP campus. In total, more than 10,000 pupils attended these special events, during which various competitions, performances and exhibitions took place. Several other departments from the Humanities as well as from other faculties also participated in the proceedings.

In 1990, she published an article in Akroterion entitled Latinae Linguae Hereditas Gentium in which she advocated a revival in the study of Latin and announced certain initiatives to realize this ideal.

In 1991, the Schola FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary Schools) program was developed under Corrie’s guidance and offered at certain elementary and high schools.

In 1996 Corrie participated with prof. Louise Cilliers in a panel discussion of the American Philological Association (APA) in New York, presenting a paper entitled ‘Classics in South Africa: Past, Present and New Challenges’.

A significant innovation for university students was the introduction of the new course in Medical terminology in1998. This course is still being offered to students from various departments in the Health Sciences and even other Faculties.  Corrie also co-authored a textbook, Medical Terminology for Students of the Health Professions. In 1998 Corrie married Koot Bosman, who also made a major contribution to the development of the Medical Terminology course.

In 1999, she presented a paper entitled ‘A Different Approach to Classics in South Africa: The Schola Project (Scripta, Prima, Secunda, Medica, FLES)’ at a Conference of the American Classical League (ACL) in Massachusetts.

In 2002, with the financial support of the Istituto Italiana di Cultura, she organized a Festa Romana at the University of Pretoria.

From 2001-2010, Corrie organized 10 HW Snyman Pro Medica Memorial Lectures. On these prestigious occasions, the Medical terminology students and other guests were addressed by guest speakers on topics with a classical-historical theme.

In 2005 she presented a paper at the University of Cambridge, entitled ‘Medical Terminology based on Greek and Latin in Modern Health Care Education’.

Corrie co-authored a chapter in Forward with Classics, Classical Languages ​​in Schools and Communities (Ed. Arlene Holmes-Henderson, Steven Hunt & Mai Musié, 2018, Bloomsbury, London), which appeared after her retirement in June 2017.

Corrie has received several awards that testify to the huge contribution she has made. In 1999 she received the Arthur Patch McKinlay Scholarship from the ACL, in 2000 the Silver Chalice Award from Ablemedia, in 2001 an Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research from the Classical Society of South Africa and in 2008 a Laureate Award for Teaching Innovation from the University of Pretoria. In 2013 she received a Special Medal of Honour from the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns in recognition of 25 years of initiatives, projects and courses to promote Latin as a subject at UP and elsewhere.

Corrie was very involved in the community, at the Dutch Reformed congregation Universiteitsoord, at various primary schools, but especially at the Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool Pretoria where she was the chairperson of the management council from 1987-1991. Her community service extended to her involvement in prisons where she offered the Schola Scripta course. Furthermore, Corrie was an active member of the Classical Association of South Africa for many years and also served in various portfolios on the regional and national committees.

Corrie was someone who radiated kindness and cordiality and no challenge was too great for her. She always focused on the positive and liked to quote the following Latin saying that often appears on sundials: Non numero nisi serenas horas – I count only the sunshine hours.

Koos Kritzinger