Circa 1960, the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics hired James W. Marchand (Ph.D., Michigan, 1955), a historical linguist with broad interests that included Germanic literature, Celtic literature, medieval music, New Testament Greek, Medieval Latin, and Old Irish. Marchand was a strong supporter of medieval studies. Sometime during the 1965-1966 academic year, several Cornell medievalists met at his house in Ithaca to discuss the creation of a medieval studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences. The discussions led to the formulation of a draft proposal.