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1992-93 Annual Report

Melanie Jansen Marhefka

This year was the second year in a row that Oriental Institute Membership has shown an increase in revenue, no small matter when most not-for-profit organizations are showing a drop in income. In 1991-92 membership revenues showed a 9% increase, and in 1992-93 a 4% increase. The membership base has remained stable, and more people are giving larger gifts to the Oriental Institute, which is most welcome during the first year of the Oriental Institute Legacy Campaign.

The opening members lecture this year was a retrospective by Robert and Linda Braidwood, "Fifty-nine Years of the Oriental Institute." The lecture given in November, a wonderful presentation on "Balloon Archaeology: Three Ancient Turkish Cities from the Air," by J. Wilson Meyers of Boston University, was co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America. Mark Lehner lectured for the members in December, presenting the progress report, "Reconstructing Giza." The new year began with "New Tools for the Archaeologist: Computer Graphics and Visualization," a lecture by the Head of the Oriental Institute Computer Laboratory, John Sanders. In February, Assyriologist Matthew Stolper gave a lecture on "Huteludush-Inshushinak and the Middle Elamite Twilight." In March the Archaeological Institute of America co-sponsored a visit from Faith Hentschel of Central Connecticut State University-Stony Creek. Ms. Hentschel spoke on "The Late Bronze Age Shipwreck at Ulu Burun, Turkey." Jerrold S. Cooper, Professor of Assyriology at Johns Hopkins University, came back to the Oriental Institute in April to lecture on "The Sumerian Question: Anti-semitism and the Early History of Assyriology." The final lecture in June was "Chicago House Update" by Peter Dorman.

Other special events brightened the winter evenings this year. Laura D'Alessandro, Conservator of the Oriental Institute Museum, told of her visit to Paris to observe "Le Projet du Grand Louvre," where the counterparts to the Oriental Institute's winged bull were moved through the streets of Paris to their current location in Cour Khorsabad, designed by I.-M. Pei. There the mold of the bull made here at the Oriental Institute in May 1991 will be installed, completing the reconstruction of the courtyard of Sargon II's palace at Khorsabad. Egyptologist Edward F. Wente spoke at an Associate Evening in November. His talk, which brought together almost forty of the Institute's upper-level members, covered the always fascinating topic of the royal mummies. Professor Wente also led the Members Travel Program trip to Egypt in February.

In May the Annual Dinner, which benefited the Oriental Institute Computer Laboratory, gathered together over two hundred members and friends of the Institute in the galleries of the Oriental Institute Museum. Ten more members became part of The James Henry Breasted Society in conjunction with the annual dinner, bringing the total number of Society members to forty by the end of the fiscal year.

It has been my pleasure this year to work with Tom Urban of the Publications Office. Both News & Notes and the Annual Report are now done in-house, and thanks to Tom these membership publications not only cost significantly less to produce but are more time-efficient as well. Thanks also go to the Advisory Board of News & Notes: William Sumner, Director; Cynthia Echols, Development; Gene B. Gragg, Professor; Carole Krucoff, Education and Public Programs; Mary Shea, Museum Volunteer, and Thomas Urban, Publications. Their help and suggestions have been invaluable.

No membership report would be complete without thanking our two volunteers: Jo Ann Putz, who spent a great deal of time going through old records and reducing them to manageable bits of data, and Charlotte Collier, who tirelessly stuffed envelopes, made phone calls, and brought her graciousness and gentle good humor to the office just when we needed it the most.

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