Alex Clayden

Alex Clayden is a Classical Studies alumnus who is now pursing an Master's of Arts in Ancient Studies at University College London.

July 16, 2014


Alex Clayden was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, spending most of his formative years in Danville, CA. He attended San Ramon Valley High School, where he graduated in 2009, hoping at the time to become a medical professional. His fallback plan was to be an actor. He had enjoyed great success in acting during his high school years, starring in many productions and winning awards. 

Alex came to UC Santa Cruz as a freshman, and spent his first years here preparing for a medical career, only to find he was far better suited to the study of history. He learned both Latin and Egyptian Hieroglyphs while at UC Santa Cruz, and graduated with a double major in History and Classical Studies with honors in 2013. He was the producer and director of the Classical Studies program’s productions of scenes from Aristophanes’ Clouds in Ancient Greek as part of the UC Santa Cruz International Playhouse in the spring of 2012. In 2013, he was the genius behind a wildly successful outdoor production of scenes from Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, Hrotsvitha’s Calimachus, and Egyptian Contendings of Horus and Seth, all performed in the original languages. Remarkable for his energy and leadership, Alex managed to hold down several jobs while excelling in his studies, and was a central figure in his cohort of Classical Studies majors. 

After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Alex began a Master’s Degree in Ancient History at University College London, for which his dissertation will be written on the treatment of the corpse in Roman Europe. In London, he volunteers with a charity teaching Latin to underprivileged public school children, and works as a walking tour guide giving tours of Roman London and the Ancient Egyptian wing of the British Museum.

Alex says, “I blame the Classics program at UCSC entirely for my current career aspirations as a researcher and educator in the field, and couldn't be happier about it.” After completing his MA at University College London, Alex plans to go on to get his PhD. Of his time at UC Santa Cruz, he says, “The warm, familial community of Classicists studying there was a highlight of the major...the professors, lecturers, and students at UC Santa Cruz would tell you no major could better endow a humanities scholar with a well-rounded and competent grasp of historical issues and skills in language which can be applied to the modern era.”