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The Museum Volunteer Program

1993-94 Annual Report

Catherine Dueñas and Terry Friedman

This year marked a season of transition, challenge, and expansion for the Volunteer Program. After ten years of devoted service, Janet Helman decided to step down from her position as Volunteer Coordinator to assume other volunteer responsibilities in the museum. Janet's dedication and contributions to the program will continue to be an inspiration to all of us.

In order to meet the Volunteer Program's growing needs, the position of Volunteer Coordinator is now shared by two people, Cathy Dueñas and Terry Friedman, who are honored by the appointment and the opportunity to serve a program that has accomplished so much over the past twenty-eight years.

Twenty volunteers participated in and completed the 1993 Spring Docent Training Course, making it of the largest classes in many years. We are grateful to the faculty, staff, and graduate students who made the 1993 training session a success. The people who made this possible were Lanny Bell, John Brinkman, Harry Hoffner, John Larson, Mark Lehner, Rick Schoen, William Sumner, Emily Teeter, Bruce Williams, and Karen Wilson. We would also like to extend our thanks to Ray Tindel, Barbara Hamann, and Joe Scott, who offered both new and continuing docents a very special tour of the basement at the culmination of the training course. Everyone was able to see and understand how much work is involved in preparing an artifact for display in a museum after it has come in from the field.

With an uncertain time table concerning the museum's closing for renovation, a Spring Training Class was not held in 1994; however, we were able to maintain momentum by recruiting several new enthusiastic volunteers. They are Neveen Mekawi, who is a Tuesday morning museum docent; Evelyn Ruskin-Gordon, who assists Archivist John Larson; and Lisa Alswang and Adrienne Runge, who assist with Family Programs. Presently, plans are underway for a Docent Training Class to begin in September.

Public exposure and community awareness of the Oriental Institute and its Volunteer Program have been high priorities this past year. The docent coordinators became active members in a group called Volunteer Coordinators of Cultural Institutions. This spring the Oriental Institute hosted a meeting for this group. Volunteer coordinators from museums throughout the city and suburbs attended this gathering. Cynthia Echols and Carole Krucoff were the guest speakers at a round table discussion concerning fundraising issues in the 1990s. It was a golden opportunity to showcase the museum and to exchange some valuable information about mutual concerns and needs in non-profit organizations.

In April the Volunteer Coordinators attended the first Seven Sisters Volunteer Fair held at the Newberry Library. This event was sponsored by the Seven Sisters College Consortium as an effort to help inform alumnae and guests about volunteer opportunities available in the Chicago area. We were delighted to have a chance to recruit volunteers and distribute information about our program.

This year also saw our first United Way Heart of Gold Nominee, Georgie Maynard. Georgie attended a breakfast reception at the Palmer House Hotel where she received a citation for her years of dedicated service to the Oriental Institute and the Hyde Park Community.

Docent Day lecture and discussion sessions continue to attract large and enthusiastic audiences. This year's topics covered a broad spectrum of ideas and interests, allowing us to explore some fascinating subject matter. Our volunteers laid the foundation for this inventive programming, offering valuable suggestions for Docent Day subjects and themes. Several museum docents drew upon their years of professional training and intellectual pursuits to offer substantive and enriching Docent Day presentations. Thanks to docents Dorothy Blindt, Erl Dordal, Lewis Ginsberg, Janet Helman, Rita and Kitty Picken, Larry Scheff, Mary Shea, and Carole Yoshida who shared with us their knowledge and expertise in many areas. We are also grateful to the faculty and staff who have devoted their time and energies to further our understanding of ancient Near East history, archaeology, and art. Without their support and willingness to instruct us, the Volunteer Program would not have the stature it enjoys today. For their participation in this year's Docent Days, we offer our thanks and appreciation to: Abbas Alizadeh, Robert and Linda Braidwood, Cynthia Echols, Carol Meyer, Martha Roth, William Sumner, Emily Teeter, Tony Tomasino, Terry Wilfong, and Karen Wilson.

Our first collaborative Docent Day took place this past January with a joint venture co-sponsored by the University of Chicago Service League and the Oriental Institute Museum docents. Director William Sumner and Professors Lanny Bell and McGuire Gibson were the featured speakers, highlighting the Oriental Institute's seventy-five years of scholarship and leadership in the field of archaeology.

This year our traditional monthly Docent Day format was expanded to include two field trips, enabling docents and volunteers to explore other educational opportunities outside Hyde Park. In August we enjoyed a day at the Spertus Museum "digging" on a "tell" in their Artifact Center. Everyone enjoyed the thrill of "hands-on " discovery. In April, which is also "National Volunteer Month," the docents, along with some faculty and staff members, were treated to a rare viewing of the Sara Lee Corporation's private art collection. Following a cocktail reception, Bob Eskridge, the curator of the collection provided us with a spectacular tour. It was a memorable evening of fine art and aesthetics.

Figure 1. Docents Elizabeth Spiegel (left) and Nina Longley "dig" at the Spertus Museum's Artifact Center during a docent field trip. Photograph by Jean Grant.

No year would be complete without the Annual Holiday Docent Day in December. Members of the faculty, staff, and volunteers were honored to have Robert and Linda Braidwood present a retrospective on their Prehistoric Project. Following the presentation, everyone was invited to meet in the Egyptian Gallery for a delicious Middle East buffet lunch prepared by Cedars of Lebanon.

Figure 2. Surrounded by proud family members, Janet Helman (seated) received a surprise tribute for outstanding volunteer service at the Annual Holiday Docent Day in December. Standing, left to right: Sarah, Bob, and Adam Helman. Photograph by Jean Grant.

No year would be complete without the Annual Holiday Docent Day in The holiday event was capped off with a surprise tribute to Janet Helman for her fifteen years of dedicated service to the Oriental Institute. To complete the day's festivities a champagne/dessert reception was arranged to honor both Janet and the longevity award recipients. Our congratulations to this year's honorees:

First Year

Bernadine Basile Irene Glasner Johanna Lucas Diane Posner
Jane Belcher Ken Moore Roy Miller Deloris Sanders
Erl Dordal Ira Hardman Kathy Mineck Bernadette Strnd
Bettie Dwinell Lorraine Kubiak Eve Weinberg Annette Teaney
Lewis Ginsberg Michael Loveless Denise Paul Jane Thain

Five Years

Bill Boone John Gay Mary Grimshaw Daila Shefner

Ten Years

Inger Kirsten Beverly Wilson Carole Yoshida  

Fifteen Years

Muriel Brauer Anita Greenberg Janet Helman Marsha Holden
Peggy Kovacs Norma van der Meulen    

Twenty Years

Sally Grunsfeld      

In Memoriam

This year marked the loss of three dear friends and devoted supporters of the Oriental Institute and the Volunteer Program. Carolyn Livingood passed away in January after a long illness. She was the creator and the driving force behind the development of the Volunteer Program. Her vision and boundless energy built the foundation upon which our program has grown and flourished these past twenty-eight years. Her legacy of hard work and determination has set a standard for us all. In April we were saddened by the death of Helen Glennon, who became a volunteer at the Institute in 1981. Helen served as a museum docent on Thursday afternoon, and also assisted in the Membership and Development Office. It is with great sorrow that we must also report the death of Teddy Buddington, who passed away in June after a lengthy illness. Teddy was a Tuesday morning docent and former captain. She was an avid amateur archaeologist and participated several seasons in the dig at Ashkelon, Israel, with Dr. Lawrence Stager. Teddy was also a loyal supporter of the American Institute of Archaeology and its many activities here in the Chicago Society.

In Retrospect

It has been a very busy and productive year. The activity in the Volunteer and Museum Education Office has increased considerably this year with the numerous programs and activities created for families and the Chicago Public Schools through grants from the Polk Bros. Foundation and the Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust. Always ready to take on a new challenge, the volunteers have made significant contributions to the success of both of these programs.

As our numbers have grown, so have our interests. Within a single office, four sometimes five people work harmoniously to generate creative and innovative ideas. Our thanks and immense gratitude to Carole Krucoff, Kaylin Goldstein, and Carol Redmond for their endless patience and supportive help during these past months. We are particularly grateful to Kaylin Goldstein, the Public Programs Assistant, who spends much of her time scheduling our docent tours, arranging movie showings and informing all of us of last minute changes. We are also indebted to the Oriental Institute faculty and staff for their support and help in all facets of the program. To our three advisors Carlotta Maher, Peggy Grant, and Janet Helman, we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for their wise counsel and strong voice of encouragement throughout this year of transition.

The Volunteer Program's work could not be effectively realized without the consistent and dedicated commitment of many people. Collectively and individually the volunteers do their jobs efficiently, dependably, and with great enthusiasm, whether they work "behind the scenes" or with the general public. As goodwill ambassadors, the museum docents help educate students and adults, making archaeology come alive. This year the docents conducted tours for 19,577 visitors who came to the museum. All the volunteers continue to expand their horizons, contributing their time, talents, and support to many vital aspects of the Oriental Institute's operation. The regularly scheduled volunteers for 1993-1994 are as follows:

Museum Docent Captains

Alice James Tuesday a.m.
Larry Scheff Tuesday p.m.
Nina Longley and JoAnn Putz Wednesday a.m.
Lilian Cropsey Wednesday p.m.
Kitty Picken Thursday a.m.
Elizabeth Spiegel Thursday p.m.
Debbie Aliber Friday a.m.
Gloria Orwin Friday p.m.
Georgie Maynard Saturday a.m.
Melanie Petroskey and Carole Yoshida Saturday p.m.
Teresa Hintzke and Steve Ritzel Sunday

Two of our devoted docent captains have decided to step down: Tuesday morning captain, Alice James, and Friday afternoon captain Gloria Orwin. The new captain for Tuesday morning is Deloris Sanders.

Regularly Scheduled Museum Docents

Nancy Baum Ira Hardman Dawn Prena
Bernadine Basile Marsha Holden Patrick Regnery
Jane Belcher Barbara James Barbara Rollhaus
Christel Betz Samantha Johnson Joan Rosenberg
Dorothy Blindt George Junker Alice Rubash
William Boone Mary Jo Khuri Norman Rubash
Teddy Buddington Barbara Klawans Janet Russell
Charlotte Collier Betsy Kremers Laura Sanchez
Erl Dordal Judy Licata Deloris Sanders
Catherine Dueñas Michael Loveless Lawrence Scheff
Bettie Dwinell Johanna Lucas Anne Schumacher
Anita Eller Kay Matsumoto Lillian Schwartz
Gordon Evison Caryl Mikrut Mary Shea
Marilyn Fellows Roy Miller Daila Shefner
Esther Fifield Kathy Mineck Bernie Shelley
Shirley Freundlich Ken Moore Bernadette Strnd
Joan Friedmann Dorothy Mozinski Annette Teaney
John Gay Jean Niblack Richard Watson
Anita Greenberg Rita Picken Eve Weinberg
Mary Grimshaw Diane Posner Beverly Wilson

Substitute Docents

Bud and Cissy Haas Barbara Frey Alice Mulberry
Betty Baum Peggy Grant Muriel Nerad
Margaret Foorman    

Suq Docents

Sue Barker Jo Jackson Rochelle Rossin
Lois Cohen Inger Kirsten Mary Schulman
Charlotte Collier Peggy Kovacs Anne Schumacher
Barbara Frey Lorraine Kubiak Jane Thain
Peggy Grant Georgie Maynard Mardi Trosman
Janet Helman Denise Paul Norma van der Meulen
Jane Hildebrand Agnethe Rattenborg Barbara Watson
Ruth Hyman    

Museum Archives Volunteers

Lilian Cropsey Sandra Jacobsohn Melanie Petroskey
Evelyn Ruskin-Gordon Carolyn Livingood Joan Rosenberg
Kay Ginther    

Registrar's Office Volunteers

Debbie Aliber Peggy Grant Lillian Schwartz
Judy Cherchi Mary Grimshaw Nicole Simpson
Aimee Drolet Janet Helman Peggy Wick
Leila Foster Georgie Maynard  

Photographic Laboratory Volunteers

Maria Ählstrom Irene Glasner Dawn Prena

Education Office Librarians

Debbie Aliber Irene Glasner  

Ceramic Restoration

Elizabeth Tieken    

Assistants to Epigraphic Survey

Diana Grodzins Carlotta Maher  

Assistants to Prehistoric Project

Diana Grodzins Andrée Wood  

Suq Office and Stockroom Volunteers

Georgie Maynard Eleanor Swift  

Membership and Development Office Volunteers

Charlotte Collier Mary Jo Khuri  

Hittite Dictionary Project Volunteers

Irv Diamond Irene Glasner Kathy Mineck
Denise Paul    

Iranian Prehistoric Project Volunteers

Peggy Grant Janet Helman Laura Sanchez

Volunteers Emeritus

Elizabeth Baum Laurie Fish Joan Rosenberg
Calla Burhoe Carol Green Eleanor Swift
Mary D'Ouville Sally Grunsfeld Vida Wentz
Ida De Pencier Inger Kirsten Sally Zimmerman

Museum Education and Family Programs Volunteers

Lisa Alswang Bernadine Basile Adrienne Runge
Raya Townsend    

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