Dux Femina Facti!

The NLE mourns the passing of its Founding Mother

27 February 2024

We are sad to announce the passing of Jane Harriman Hall on Sunday, February 25, 2024. She died peacefully with her daughter by her side. She was blessed to live a full life and follow her passion for Latin and teaching. An obituary will be available soon through Currie Funeral Home in Kilmarnock, VA, and her daughter writes that she would appreciate any stories, memories, or tributes be posted on their website ( She also asks that any memorial gifts be made in her honor to her greatest passion, the National Latin Exam. A celebration of life will be scheduled for late spring or early summer — we will update you when plans have been finalized. Dux femina facti!

Jane's Obituary

Jane Harriman Hall, age 93, of White Stone, VA, formerly of Alexandria, VA, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 25, 2024. Jane was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 69 years, David Alan Hall and her parents, Roswell Hitchcock and Ruth Damman Harriman. She is survived by her daughter, Dianne Harriman Thomas (Stephen B.Thomas), two grandchildren Amanda Thomas Kaeser (Kyle C. Kaeser) and Stephen B. Thomas, Jr., and one great grandchild Riley Brooke Kaeser.

Jane earned her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in 1952, and her M.A. from the University of Maryland in 1969. Jane's extraordinary teaching career spanned 59 years. She taught every grade, with the majority of her teaching years at Fort Hunt High School in Fairfax County, VA, where she taught Latin, Ancient Greek and Russian. She finished her stellar career as an adjunct professor at the University of Mary Washington. Throughout her lifetime, Jane received numerous well-deserved awards and honors for her many accomplishments. Some of her awards include: Jane was chosen for the 1966 edition of Outstanding Young Women of America; being selected as Virginia’s Foreign Language Teacher of the Year in 1984; also in 1984, Jane was honored by the Classical Association of the Middle West and South. In 1996, she was awarded the John F. Latimer Award from the Washington Classical Society, and in 2001, she received a Merita Award from the American Classical League.

Jane was the first Director of the Virginia Governor’s Academy. She also developed the Forum Romanum video series in order to provide a visual tool for teachers throughout the country. This series documented historic moments in Roman history with live characters speaking only Latin. These videos helped students’ ability to use Latin orally. Finding innovative ways to encourage students’ learning was one of Jane’s greatest strengths. She took students on numerous educational trips to foreign countries including Italy and Greece. She held toga parties and Latin banquets. She gave out awards in the classroom for academic achievements. She headed clubs, including the Latin Club and the Latin Honor Society.

In 1978, Jane founded The National Latin Exam on a card table in her family room. The annual exam rewards students for excelling in their study of Latin. She devoted 34 years of leadership and expertise to the National Latin Exam, before retiring in 2011. By the time she retired, nearly 3 million students had participated in taking the National Latin Exam. In addition, more than one million dollars in scholarships had been awarded. The National Latin Exam still thrives today, and the numbers have increased significantly. This year’s Exam boasts over 114,000 participants, including 26 countries, and $131,000 to be awarded in Scholarships. The NLE lives on as her legacy to the American Classical League and to the recognition of thousands of students, teachers, and schools around the world.

In 1970, Jane and Dave built a home on the Corrotoman River and began life part-time in the Northern Neck. Their love for this area grew over the years, until 2003, when they moved full-time to White Stone. Jane was an active resident of the Northern Neck and Tabbs Creek community. She volunteered at the Steamboat Museum, Meals on Wheels, the Animal Welfare League, the Lancaster Community Library, as well as various other community events and benefits. She enjoyed life on the creek, as she and David were seen most evenings taking a cruise on her beloved Duffy, the Festina Lente. She enjoyed the New York Times crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, opera, bridge, tennis, swimming, boating, entertaining, and especially traveling. Jane lived life to the fullest in every way, and she was known by her friends to be the life of any gathering. Jane and Dave were members of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Kilmarnock, VA.

Memorial donations may be made in Jane’s honor to the National Latin Exam, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA.