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Dear Jim,

Congratulations on all you have accomplished during you long and storied career. Thank you for being both a teacher and friend. My best wishes to you, Barbara, and all of your family. 

– Carlos Alvarenga

Dear Dr. Arieti,


Thank you for exemplifying great scholarship, steadfast discipline, and resolute character to me. Your encouragement and instruction continue to hearten me as I read, write, and think about the classics and about life. It comes as little surprise that I am learning now for the first time about many of your outstanding achievements—you would never mention them yourself. I am honored to know you and hope one day to be half the teacher that you were to me.



Ashby Neterer

Dear Jim,


Congrats on an impressive career of impact. Your teaching has enlightened the paths of many. Author William Ward captured it best when he wrote: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” Thank you, Jim, for inspiring me and many others. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement!


Best regards,

Sekou Kaalund

Dear Dr. Arieti,


After a corporate career that has spanned more than 4 decades, I have witnessed my fair share of hamartias et al. and every time my thoughts went back to you, your classroom and your teachings. It strikes me as especially suitable as you contemplate your well-deserved retirement, that the ability to ask questions and listen for answers is being expounded in contemporary corporate teachings as a clear sign of leadership. My gratitude and best wishes go out to you.


Gerhard Gross

Dear Jim,


The many lessons you taught me were invaluable to me throughout my own career and tried as much as possible to pass the wisdom contained in them on to my own students. I hope that you will look upon your retirement from the classroom not as the end of a career, but as the beginning of a new career. My best to you and Barbara. Hoping to see you on "the Hill"


Bob Crouch

Dear Jim,


What a delight to see your academic and personal life in all its aspects unfolded in a format that you value so highly which is conversation and gentle argumentation. Congratulations on the souls and minds that you have helped on their journeys over so many decades. I look forward to many more walks and hikes (and dinners) during this next phase of your life.


Gene Donovan

Dr. Arieti:


Though our time together was all too brief, I am grateful that you lit within me an interest in classics and so gave an educational purpose where I had been directionless my whole life. While I'd have liked to have studied more under you and with you, I wish you a happy and contented retirement. Give my regards to your family.

Stephen Twentyman

Dear Jim:


With best wishes for an esteemed colleague and good friend. You are a clear example of what Aristotle had in mind, leading a "complete life of virtuous action in accordance with reason." (Nicomachean Ethics). Paula joins me in wishing you and yours a wonderful, long, happy, and fruitful retirement!

Marc Hight

Dear Dr. Arieti:


Congratulations on your retirement! I will be forever grateful for having been a student of yours during my time at H-SC, class of 2015. You expected great things of all of your students, and your classes were among the most memorable ones I took. I keep my Landmark Herodotus close by and often think about the principle of vicissitude. It has been an honor getting to you know you in and outside the classroom, and I wish you the best moving forward.

Lukas Epps-Dawson

Dear Dr. Arieti:


I want to congratulate you on your retirement. I will always cherish the many discussions we had in class on pertinent concepts of classical literature and western culture. You have given every Hampden Sydney student taught by you an unforgettable education in classics, as well as an overall impeccable approach to learning.

Grayland Godfrey

Dear Dr. Arieti:


Congratulations on retirement! I was looking through my old photos and I came across a photo of us after my induction into Eta Sigma Phi, and I knew I had to write to you. I want to thank you for pushing me to be a better student and for providing your unwavering support in all of my endeavors. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better student and a better person. I hope I inspire someone as much as you inspired me.


Quinn Sipes '18

Dr. Arieti:


I have over the years occasionally thought back on my life to identify what events or people shaped me into who I am today. I can think of no other person who has had a greater influence on my ability to think than you. You gave me a gift that I did not even know existed. At the time, it was a gift that I did not want. But you allowed for patience in your teaching and changed my life for the better in a thousand ways.

Thank you.

Roby Hackney

Hi Jim,


I am working on a new translation and interpretation of Plato's Meno that is heavily influenced by your view of the dialogues. I am arguing that Plato did not intend the doctrine of recollection to be taken seriously. Be happy to connect with you about it. Hope you are doing well these days. I continue to be active despite being in my mid eighties.


Bill Cobb

Dear Jim,

Congratulations on a career of amazing achievements and everlasting impact on multiple generations of students. I hope you enjoy your retirement as much as you’ve enjoyed teaching and scholarship! All the best to you and Barbara. 

Dima Hammoud

Dear Jim,


It has been a pleasure teaching with – but mainly learning from – you over the years. My hope is that your retirement is just like your illustrious faculty career: long, fruitful, and rewarding in countless ways.


Best regards,

Alex Werth

Dear Jim,


Congratulations on the closing of one chapter of a life "spent in pursuit of rational and virtuous activity" and the opening of the next. There is a debt of gratitude owed by so many students who had their minds shaped and sharpened by your teaching the wisdom of the Ancients. They left Hampden-Sydney better men and better citizens as a result. I wish you a happy and content retirement.

Jim Evans

Dear Jim,


Congratulations on all that you accomplished in your career! As a student and father of students, thank you, too, for your unwavering demand that your students engage in pursuit of well-reasoned thought and virtuous activity. We are all better men for having studied under your tutelage! I pray you and Barbara enjoy this well-earned retirement!

Bryan McVey

Dear Jim,


Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement and for all you have accomplished using Classics to mold Good Men and Good Citizens! You have impacted so many young men over your extraordinary career, and I am honored to have learned from you. Your lectures on “pleonexia” and justification for studying the Classics continue to resonate with me personally and professionally. Thank you for your lessons on academics and on life. Best wishes to you and all of your family in retirement!

Jason Bart

Dear Dr. Arieti,


I will never be able to thank you enough for all the learning, wisdom, and great advice which you imparted to me as a student in 1980-1984. You were a great Mentor to me, and I could go on a long time listing specific examples of how you went above and beyond to help my learning, and the learning of many others. I wish you and your family the best in the future!

Arthur Sperry

Dr. Arieti,


A heartfelt congratulations on your retirement and a heartfelt THANK YOU for 35 years ago giving me a flashlight and a map to send me off to find Eudaimonia. My life-time of curiosity and critical thinking began in your class and lives today in the lessons I try to teach my son and the culture I try to set in my workplace. I wish you the best of luck in your retirement.


Larry Gwaltney

Dr. Jim,

I have told the story many times to others, but I have probably never thanked you enough. On my very first day of college, you led us in spending 50 minutes discussing a single sentence: "Every thought, every action, and similarly every inquiry aims at some good."  Thirty-five years later, I still think about that sentence and our discussion nearly every day. Thanks for all the good you have done for all of us who think about how we in turn might aim at some good in our lives.

Joe Lane

Congratulations on such an exceptional career!


Jim, I wish to thank you for making me a better thinker, a better teacher, and above all, a better human being — despite my innumerable deficiencies.

Rob Irons

Dr. Arieti:


You brought Hampden-Sydney’s motto of “Good men and good citizens” to life, and provided a framework for me to build a life based on ethics and purpose. You had a tremendous impact on me during my formative years at H-SC and I can still fondly playback many of your lectures and lessons. Congratulations on your retirement and a career of impact!


Ryan Hayes,‘97

Dr. Arieti,

Thank you for the long-lasting impression left on me by your role-modeling of Socratic discourse in class. While my "finest hours" did not frequently occur in Latin or Humanities class, I have carried many of the thematic messages forward in my personal beliefs. You set the benchmark for being respectfully prepared for any student's question that I strive to live up to in my own university classroom. Your career's effects will be felt for decades to come.

Kevin Rasch

Dearest Jimmy,


Congratulations from your oldest childhood friend who remembers all of your accomplishments, along with those funny stories and silly tricks we played on Mrs. Huyssoon in eighth grade!


Always and with love,

Susan Paull Goldberg

Dr. Arieti,

I am a PhD Student at UVA in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and 2016 HSC alum. I took my first two courses of Western Culture with you. Your courses were incredibly thought provoking, and I continue to consider the framing you presented in both secular and religious contemplations. Very few teachers have had the profound impact on my thinking that you did. Thank you for your dedication to the rational mind. Godspeed in all your pursuits.

Tyler Daspit

Beloved Magister,


Enjoy your retirement. I am sure you will continue to live the good life as by your nature you must.


A great teacher wishes to be superseded by his students. Don't be surprised if you remain unfulfilled in this desire. We shall see.


You are a critical component of the warp and weave of my family tapestry, for both my older son and I have learned in your classroom and aspire to apply what you allowed us to see in our lives.



Thomas Robertson

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