Hadrian's Wall, Academics | Earlham College
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Hadrian's Wall

Hiking Hadrian's Wall

During the summer of 2019, 12 students and two faculty members spent 16 days hiking Hadrian’s Wall — an ancient barrier that marked the northwest border of the Roman Empire and that dates to year 122 in the current era. 

Students completed self-designed projects as part of the experience. Program participants represented majors from across the curriculum including Ancient and Classical Studies, History, Sociology-Anthropology, Politics, English, Environmental Sustainability, Japanese Studies, and Geology.

Exploring Borders

“We explored the ways that borders influence the ancient and modern world — and everything that could go into the concept of the border,” says Fiona Kelly ’21, an ancient and classical studies major from Waterbury, Connecticut.

“The overall experience was really open-ended, which allowed for a lot of personalization of these projects,” she says. “I’ve always loved the humanities and the classical world, but hiking Hadrian’s Wall really solidified my interest in being an Ancient and Classical Studies major. Being able to focus on areas outside of the city of Rome, and the inner-Roman empire, and looking more at the outer provinces is something I really fell in love with.”

Photo Gallery

Project Details

The Earlham team arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland, and headed south into England to begin an 80-mile hike from Newcastle to Carlisle spanning the English countryside.  Hostels, historic homes or small countryside inns, even organic farms, provided lodging as the team traversed what is now left of the historical border wall for nine of the 16 days they spent abroad. The team also visited York before departing back to the United States.

A sampling of student projects resulting from the trip ranged from multimedia projects, essays and works of fiction, a linguistics study, research and analysis from the National Museum of Scotland, and a geographic information system story map.

Experience the Hadrian’s Wall EPIC Term by navigating Cora Johnson’s ’19 geographic information system story map.

Read More About EPIC

Earlham delivers an extraordinary liberal arts experience through the EPIC initiative. EPIC is a four-year journey that integrates the academic major with transformative learning experiences, including research, study abroad, internships, and leadership development, to prepare students exceptionally well for life beyond Earlham.

Faculty Leaders

Maxwell Paule

Maxwell Paule, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Ancient and Classical Studies

Max Paule is a classical studies scholar who explores the modern reception of Ancient Greece and Rome, especially in popular media. He incorporates this research into such courses as “Greece and Rome on Screen,” and “This is Sparta!”


Neal Baker

Neal Baker, M.A.
Library Director

Neal Baker is the director of Earlham’s library system and helps coordinate the Library Immersion Fellows Team, a program for first-generation students. He also teaches courses related to film studies, Japanese and east Asian studies.


Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
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Richmond, Indiana
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Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.