MILWAUKEE -

More than 30 students at Marquette University can now boast authority on J.R.R. Tolkien.

The school offered a course on the fantasy writer for the first time this fall as part of the university's celebration of the 75th anniversary of "The Hobbit" being published. And it wrapped up just before the movie "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" was released Friday.

The class filled up fast, mostly with seniors who had priority. It looked at Tolkien as a whole, not just at the popular "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit."

English professor Tim Machan says the class has been the best in his 27 years at Marquette for student preparation and enthusiasm.

The class was so well-received the school, which has many of Tolkien's drafts and manuscripts, is considering more.