Classics scholar Dan-el Padilla Peralta, a graduate of Manhattan’s Collegiate School, Princeton, Oxford and Stanford, will join the Princeton faculty next year. In Undocumented, he describes his “odyssey from a homeless shelter to the Ivy League.”
Born in the Dominican Republic, Padilla came to the U.S. at the age of four with his parents, who were seeking medical care for his pregnant mother. When the visa expired, she stayed with her two sons. His father, unable to find a job, returned home.
In a homeless shelter’s library, Padilla discovered a book on ancient Greece. He also met an arts teacher who helped him apply for a scholarship to Collegiate, an elite private school that teaches Latin and Greek.
His research focuses on the importance of religion in the rise of mid-Republican Rome.