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1991-92 Annual Report

Melanie Jansen Marhefka

The past year has been a busy one for the Membership Office. In the fall of 1991 the Alumni Development Database System was put on line for the membership records, which was the culmination of many long months of program designing and records verification. A great deal of time was also spent planning new events for members-the number of events in 1991-1992 was more than double that in the previous year (1990-1991).

One of the most important changes this year was the introduction of new types of activities offered to members. In addition to the traditional Wednesday evening Members' Lecture Series, members were able to come to gallery tours (conducted by Lanny Bell, Walter Farber, Emily Teeter, and Karen Wilson), a champagne reception (for the opening of the exhibit, "Sifting the Sands of Time"), a special lecture series held in conjunction with the Oriental Institute Museum for the opening of the Nubian exhibit, and a dinner lecture with Professor Martha Roth. The Members' Lecture Series itself was host to a stellar cast of visiting speakers, including Thorkild Jacobsen, former director of the Oriental Institute; John Curtis, Keeper of Western Asian Antiquities at the British Museum (co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America); Martin Bernal of Cornell University (co-sponsored by the Workshop on Ancient Societies of the University of Chicago); Dietrich Sürenhagen, Universität Heidelberg; John Baines, Professor of Egyptology at Oxford University; and speakers from the Oriental Institute, including Tony Wilkinson, the late Gösta Ahlström, Norman Golb, and Thomas Holland.

The Annual Dinner, held on June 1, 1992, was a great success, with 203 attendees and over $18,000 raised for the benefit of the Research and Publications Fund. We were honored to have British Consul Ray Mingay and his wife as guests of the Oriental Institute at the dinner and were pleased that so many of our members and friends were able to join us on this special occasion.

1992 was the charter year for The James Henry Breasted Society, comprised of members who contribute $1,000 or more in unrestricted gifts to the Oriental Institute. In 1992 the number of Breasted Society members increased from twelve to thirty members in a six-month period. The James Henry Breasted Society members not only help to support the Research and Publications fund, but they also serve as a vital link to other members who would like to get more involved with the Oriental Institute.

The Members' Travel Program also had a successful year, with a sold-out trip to Yemen, led by Registrar Raymond Tindel, in January 1992, and two sold-out trips to Eastern Turkey with Assistant Curator Emily Teeter in May 1992. Many thanks go to Emily for all of her invaluable assistance with these tours and in the planning of others as well.

The Membership and Development offices were pleased to be able to contribute to the planning of two very special events held at the Oriental Institute in the fall of 1991: a reception for Oliver Gurney and Albert Hourani, who received honorary degrees from the University of Chicago as part of its centennial celebration, and a luncheon for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Docent Program. One of the highlights of the luncheon was the announcement that Monday, December 9, 1991, had been officially declared "Carolyn Livingood Day" by Mayor Richard Daley, in honor of the founder of the Oriental Institute Docent Program. Visiting Committee member Terry Friedman was instrumental in making the luncheon a success.

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