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Home > Research > Publications > Annual Reports > 1994-95 Annual Report

The Museum Volunteer Program


Catherine Dueñas and Terry Friedman

Since its creation nearly twenty-nine years ago, the Volunteer Program of the Oriental Institute has evolved and changed to accommodate the many needs and interests of a group of dedicated Museum docents and volunteers. This year was one of growth and exploration as the Volunteer Program continued to expand its services to the Oriental Institute and the Museum visitors.

Docent Training Class

Despite the uncertain timetable concerning the Museum's closing for renovation and climate control, we decided to offer a Docent Training Class in September. The syllabus encompassed a concentrated seven-week training session plus two Docent Day lectures and Gallery Study activities. We were very pleased to have the active participation and involvement of both the Curator, Karen Wilson, and the Assistant Curator, Emily Teeter. Their skillful input from both the academic and curatorial viewpoints was extremely valuable and much appreciated throughout the entire course. The 1994 Docent Class officially graduated on December 5 at the Annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony and Luncheon. Our congratulations to class members: Britt Bonner, Janet Calkins, Hazel Cramer, Evelyn Ruskin Gordon, Mary Harter, Aaron Mayer, Catherine Mardikes, Corrine Moran, Robert Randolph, Helaine Staver, Les Stermer, Pam Wickliffe, and Dewitt Williams. We extend our thanks to all the faculty, staff, and volunteers, whose collective efforts helped to make this year's training class a great success. The lectures were presented by Lanny Bell, John Brinkman, Norman Golb, John Larson, William Sumner, Emily Teeter, Anthony Tomasino, Karen Wilson, and Asl1han Yener. Dorothy Blindt, Peggy Grant, Janet Helman, George Junker, Mary Shea, and Elizabeth Spiegel were responsible for the gallery studies. We would like to express a special note of thanks to George Junker for his valuable audiovisual assistance throughout the training class and to Joe Searcy and Kate Luchini for their help with setting up tables, chairs, and fans each week for everyone's comfort in the galleries.

Figure 1. Mrs. Elizabeth Sonnenschein (center) welcomes Curator Karen Wilson (left) and Registrar Raymond Tindel (right) to the President's home for a special Docent Day Tea Reception, Monday, January 30, 1995.

This year the Volunteer Training Manual was completely revised, updated, and presented in a new format. We want to thank the following people for their contributions to this enormous project. Without their support this valuable resource could never have become an accomplished reality. The contributors to this project were Abbas Alizadeh, Tim Harrison, Carole Krucoff, John and Peggy Sanders, Emily Teeter, Thomas Urban, and Karen Wilson. With the revision of this manual, we were able to discover the source of many of the articles, which were contributed by the docents when the original Docent Training Manual and Study Guides were written. The hard work and dedication needed to create this kit was an inspiration to all of us as we saw the enormity and scope of the original work compiled by Joan Barghusen, Peggy Grant, Janet Helman, Carlotta Maher, Kitty Picken, Janet Russell, and many other unsung heroes. Our thanks and gratitude go out to these pioneers for their vision and foresight. They gave volunteers past, present, and future an extremely valuable learning tool and an important resource for further study.

Docent Days

Docent Days were well attended and enthusiastically supported by the docents and the volunteers. The faculty expounded on some interesting topics, exposing us to new interpretations and current research. This year we expanded our horizons by having Docent Days outside of the Oriental Institute. We enjoyed field trips to the Art Institute and to the Field Museum. Each experience enhanced our knowledge and appreciation of art history, anthropology, and archaeology. Our thanks to the members of the faculty, staff, and volunteers, who were so generous with their continued commitment and support of the Volunteer Program. The people contributing to the Docent Day programs were: Karen Alexander, Abbas Alizadeh, Katherine Austin, Dorothy Blindt, Cynthia Echols, McGuire Gibson, Norman Golb, Jean Grant, Phil Hanson, Janet Helman, Janet Johnson, George Junker, Carole Krucoff, Mary Jo Khuri, John Larson, Carlotta Maher, Anita Morgan, Ingrid Rowland, John and Peggy Sanders, Larry Scheff, Margaret Schröeder, Beth Spencer, William Stein, William Sumner, Ray Tindel, Kent Weeks, and Karen Wilson.

Figure 2. Muriel Nerad proudly shows her volunteer award certificate for twenty-five years of service.

No year would be complete without the Annual Holiday Luncheon and Volunteer Recognition Awards in December. Over one hundred people attended this festive occasion. Faculty, staff, and volunteers gathered in the Egyptian Gallery to enjoy a delicious Middle Eastern buffet prepared by the Cedars of Lebanon Restaurant. This year's luncheon was made possible through a generous gift from the Estate of Docent Teddy Buddington. The morning presentation was a wonderful pictorial retrospective by John Larson on the Breasted Legacy, highlighting the past seventy-five years. Immediately following the lecture, the Annual Volunteer Recognition Awards were presented. Our congratulations to this year's recipients:

Five Years

Leila Foster, Ruth Hyman, Sandra Jacobsohn, Barbara James, Samantha Johnson, Caryl Mikrut, Patrick Regnery, Bernard Shelley, and Agnethe Rattenborg

Ten Years

Rebecca Binkley, Charlotte Collier, Cathy Dueñas, Gordon Evison, and Alice James

Fifteen Years

Dorothy Mozinski and Mary Shea

Twenty Years

Terry Friedman and Peggy Wick

Twenty-five Years

Muriel Nerad and Eleanor Swift

Thirty Years

Elizabeth Tieken

Heart of Gold Nominee

Peggy Grant was this year's Heart of Gold Nominee. This award is sponsored by the United Way/ Crusade of Mercy to honor outstanding individuals and organizations for their many contributions to their communities. For nearly twenty-five years Peggy has exemplified the true spirit of volunteerism here at the Oriental Institute, and we were delighted to be able to nominate her for this prestigious award.


Under the watchful guidance and skillful cataloging of our Docent Librarian, Debbie Aliber, our active lending library continues to grow and flourish with interesting new titles. The library now offers volunteers the option of borrowing tapes of professors' Docent Day lectures as well as members' lectures. We have received some wonderful donations to the library from the faculty, staff, and volunteers. This year a Book Sale was organized in June to help streamline the library collection as well as raise funds for updated editions. For this project, Debbie received advice and help from Lilian Cropsey, Peggy Grant, Kathy Mineck, and Dorothy Mozinski.

Projects, Research, and Special Events

One of our volunteers, Denise Paul, donated her time and expertise to do a meticulous translation of two beautifully illustrated French books, Une Ville en Mésopotamie sous Nabuchodonosor: Babylone , by Étienne Morin, and Un Village d'artisans égyptiens sous Ramsès IV: Deir el-Medineh , by Viviane Koenig and Michel Jay. Thanks to Denise's efforts, these translated resources are now available in English for everyone to enjoy.

Figure 3. Holiday Luncheon and Volunteer Recognition, Monday, December 5, 1994. Standing, left to right: Pam Wickliffe, Britt Bonner, Janet Calkins, Hazel Cramer, Mary Harter, Evelyn Ruskin Gordon, Catherine Mardikes, Helaine Staver, Robert randolph, and Les Stermer (not shown: Aaron Mayer, Lorrine Moran, and Dewitt Williams).

In January a very special Docent Day was arranged for the Museum docents, faculty, staff, and volunteers. Mrs. Elizabeth Sonnenschein, wife of University of Chicago President Hugo Sonnenschein, hosted a lovely afternoon tea and reception in the President's home. The guests were treated to an interesting lecture presentation by Museum Registrar, Ray Tindel, who spoke about "The Hidden Treasures in the Oriental Institute Basement." The event was topped off by a special book signing for Georgie Maynard. Georgie proudly sat in the President's study and personally autographed copies of her recently published memoirs, Letters From Turkey, 1939-1946 .

Lilian Cropsey, Wednesday afternoon Docent Captain, has been researching and assessing the Museum's slide collection to help create a permanent slide library for the Education Office. The compiling of this collection will be an extremely valuable educational tool for Outreach Programming.

Two weekend docents, Dorothy Blindt and Melanie Petroskey, have designed, sewn, and embroidered an exquisite costume fit for an Assyrian noble or king. This beautiful tunic will become a part of the Outreach Treasure Chests, a useful resource available to teachers and students in the Chicago Public Schools.

Figure 4. Georgie Maynard (seated) autographs copies of her recently published memoirs, Letters From Turkey .

Many Museum docents assumed additional responsibilities above and beyond their regularly scheduled guided tour duties in order to develop and present special interest topics and tours in conjunction with several highly successful Museum events. Mummy's Night, New Student Open House, The American Academy of Science Tour, Humanities Day, Ancient Animals Parent-Child Workshop, Children's Theater Workshop, Pyramids, Mummies, and Magic, and Reunion '94 were all very successful. Enthusiastic audiences, many for the first time, visited the Oriental Institute Museum and were graciously greeted by our docents and volunteers. Our thanks and appreciation go out to the following goodwill ambassadors:

New Student Open House

Jane Belcher, Samantha Johnson, Diane Posner, Steve Ritzel, and Janet Russell

The Academy of Science Tour

Debbie Aliber, Peggy Grant, Patrick Regnery, and Carole Yoshida

Mummy's Night

Jane Belcher, Joan Friedmann, Jo Lucas, and Diane Posner

Humanities Day

Dorothy Blindt, Masako Matsumoto, Georgie Maynard, Patrick Regnery, and Carole Yoshida

Students Open House

Britt Bonner and Dorothy Mozinski

Reunion '94

Debbie Aliber

Other docents lent their time and talents to a wide variety of public programs for youth, family, and adult audiences. Their invaluable contributions are described individually in the Museum Education section.

"Romancing The Past"-A Night To Remember: A Tribute to Seventy-five Years

We would like to express our gratitude to the many docents and volunteers who devoted their time and their talents to ensure a successful dinner benefit commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Oriental Institute. The leadership of Margaret Foorman, Janet Helman, and Mary Jo Khuri as Dinner Co-Chairs was pivotal in creating a truly memorable event. The floral centerpieces were masterfully designed and produced by Masako Matsumoto with the help of a close friend, Fujiye Nakamura. Kitty and Rita Picken wrote an informative botanic description to complement and explain the beautiful floral arrangements. Carole Yoshida researched and contributed a written description of ancient seafaring vessels. Many other docents and volunteers were involved in the addressing of the invitations for this major event: Charlotte Collier, Ida De Pencier, Joan Friedmann, Bud and Cissy Haas, Sandra Jacobsohn, George Junker, Nina Longley, Carlotta Maher, Dorothy Mozinski, Denise Paul, Rita Picken, Rochelle Rossin, and Mary Shea.

Everyone's collective efforts helped to produce a celebration and social event that we will long remember with great pride.

In Memoriam

This year marked the loss of two loyal friends and supporters of the Oriental Institute and the Volunteer Program. We were deeply saddened by the sudden death of Barbara James. She had been a devoted Friday morning Museum docent for the past five years. Barbara was an avid traveler and an active member of the South Suburban Archaeological Society. She is missed by her many friends and fellow docents.

This past winter Calla Burhoe passed away. While Calla was a Wednesday docent she developed a tour with a Biblical emphasis. This research gave the docents an important guide to better understand the museum collection and how some of the artifacts relate to the Bible.


One area of major focus this past year has been the continued programming of activities and projects for the docent and volunteer staff during the time that the Museum will be closed for installation of climate control equipment and renovation. Numerous ideas have been proposed for this interim period. At the suggestion of Carole Krucoff and with the generous support of the Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust, we were encouraged to seek outside consultants to assist us with developing, evaluating, and implementing fresh ideas for programming during the period of renovation. In April Rebecca Keller and Jerome D'Agostino joined the Education Department as consultants to study and evaluate the most effective means of developing an outreach program with special emphasis on the involvement of the docent and volunteer corps. Several docents, including Alice James, George Junker, Jo Lucas, Nina Longley, Larry Scheff, and Helaine Staver, were involved in the first phase of this research project with Rebecca and Jerry. They conducted a telephone survey with numerous other institutions that currently have effective outreach programs in place. It was interesting and reassuring to hear that many of these cultural institutions had or would in the future experience similar renovation and programming challenges. A wealth of information was acquired, which will help us better direct our outreach programming to serve more specific and targeted audiences.

Figure 5. Raymond Tindel talks to the volunteers about the "Treasures of the Oriental Institute".

Some of the docents have already eagerly volunteered to take the Museum "on the road" by giving lectures and slide presentations in the schools. Carole Yoshida had a wonderful experience with the 6th-grade class at Church Junior High School in Elmhurst. Her forty-five minute presentation mesmerized 135 students who were seated quietly on the library floor.

We want to express our appreciation to Saturday Docent Bernie Shelley and to volunteer Denise Paul for their generous donations and gifts of audiovisual equipment to the program. These gifts will permit us to implement our community outreach efforts more effectively.

In Retrospect

This has been a productive year with a great deal of promise and vision. The activity level in the Volunteer and Museum Education Office continues to increase as we expand our programming activities to incorporate innovative learning opportunities for all of our visitors young and old. Six people now share the small space in room 202, which is constantly bustling with activity. Kaylin Goldstein and Yumi Roth spend much of their time scheduling docent tours, arranging film showings, and keeping us up-to-date on any last minute changes. Their great sense of humor and excellent organizational skills have been vital to the smooth operation of the Volunteer Office. Carol Redmond, Education Outreach Coordinator, continues to develop and supervise Family Programs and Outreach activities for the Chicago Public Schools. Her creative and imaginative hands-on activities beautifully complement docent-led tours. In a year of expansion and exploration, Carole Krucoff, Head of Museum Education and Public Programs, has been a constant friend and supporter of the Volunteer Program. Her soft-spoken voice and manner instill calm and direction in an office pulsating with activity.

Figure 6. Two Sunday docents, Jane Belcher (left) and Diane Posner (right), get into the spirit and costume of Mummy's Night.

The docents and volunteers continue to invest their time, talents, and many skills to enhance the smooth operation of many areas in the Museum. Whether "behind the scenes" or direct public contact, they perform their duties efficiently, dependably, and with great enthusiasm. The major portion of our volunteer corps are Museum docents, who skillfully guide groups through the galleries on an incredible journey into the past, making archaeology and history come alive! This year Museum docents conducted guided tours for 21,326 visitors.

As the following lists demonstrate, the volunteers are a vital, dynamic force helping to serve the Oriental Institute in many capacities. Collectively and individually they are a treasured asset.

Advisors to the Volunteer Program

Peggy Grant, Janet Helman, and Carlotta Maher

Honorary Volunteer-At-Large

Elizabeth Sonnenschein

Museum Docent Captains

Deloris Sanders - 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.

Georgie Maynard - Saturday a.m.

Melanie Petroskey and Carole Yoshida - Saturday p.m.

Teresa Hintzke and Steve Ritzel - Sunday

Regularly Scheduled Museum Docents

Bernadine Basile, Nancy Baum, Jane Belcher, Christel Betz, Dorothy Blindt

Britt Bonner, William Boone, Janet Calkins, Charlotte Collier, Hazel Cramer

Erl Dordal, Catherine Dueñas, Bettie Dwinell, Anita Eller, Gordon Evison

Marilyn Fellows, Esther Fifield, Shirley Freundlich, Terry Friedman, Joan Friedmann

John Gay, Evelyn Ruskin Gordon, Anita Greenberg, Mary Grimshaw, Ira Hardman

Mary Harter, Marsha Holden, Barbara James, Samantha Johnson, George Junker

Mary Jo Khuri, Barbara Klawans, Betsy Kremers, Judy Licata, Michael Loveless

Johanna Lucas, Catherine Mardikes, Kay Matsumoto, Aaron Mayer, Caryl Mikrut

Roy Miller, Kathy Mineck, Ken Moore, Corrine Moran, Dorothy Mozinski

Jean Niblack, Carolyn Payer, Rita Picken, Diane Posner, Dawn Prena

Robert Randolph, Patrick Regnery, Barbara Rollhaus, Joan Rosenberg, Alice Rubash

Norman Rubash, Janet Russell, Laura Sanchez, Anne Schumacher, Lillian Schwartz

Mary Shea, Daila Shefner, Bernie Shelley, Helaine Staver, Les Stermer

Bernadette Strnad, Annette Teaney, Richard Watson, Eve Weinberg, Pamela Wickliffe

DeWitt Williams, Beverly Wilson

Substitute Docents

Betty Baum, Margaret Foorman, Barbara Frey, Peggy Grant, Bud and Cissy Haas

Alice Mulberry, Muriel Nerad

Suq Docents

Barbara Baird, Muriel Brauer, Charlotte Collier, Barbara Frey, Ruth Hyman

Lorraine Kubiak, Peggy Kovacs, Asia Lerner, Georgie Maynard, Agnethe Rattenborg

Rochelle Rossin, Mary Schulman, Anne Schumacher, Eleanor Swift, Jane Thain

Norma Van der Meulen, Barbara Watson

Substitute Suq Docents

Lois Cohen, Peggy Grant, Janet Helman, Jane Hildebrand, Jo Jackson

Mardi Trossman

Museum Archives Volunteers

Hazel Cramer, Lilian Cropsey, Kay Ginther, Marsha Holden, Sandra Jacobsohnv

Irving Mann, Melanie Petroskey, Joan Rosenberg, Evelyn Ruskin-Gordon, Helaine Staver

Pamela Wickliffe

Registrar's Office Volunteers

Debbie Aliber, Leila Foster, Mary Grimshaw, John Gay, Peggy Grant

Janet Helman, Georgie Maynard, Patrick Regnery, Lillian Schwartz, Dick Watson

Peggy Wick

Photographic Laboratory Volunteers

Maria Ählstrom, Irene Glasner, Dawn Prena, Irving Mann

Computer Laboratory Volunteers

Robert Randolph and Les Stermer

Education Office Librarians

Debbie Aliber, Peggy Grant, Kathy Mineck, Lilian Cropsey, Georgie Maynard

Ceramic Restoration

Elizabeth Tieken

Assistants to Epigraphic Survey

Carlotta Maher, Crennan Ray, Elinor Smith

Assistants to Prehistoric Project

Diana Grodzins and Andrée Wood

Suq Office and Stockroom Volunteers

Georgie Maynard and Eleanor Swift

Membership and Development Office Volunteers

Charlotte Collier and Mary Jo Khuri

Hittite Dictionary Project Volunteers

Irv Diamond, Irene Glasner, Kathy Mineck, Denise Paul

Iranian Prehistoric Project Volunteers

Peggy Grant and Janet Helman

Volunteers Emeritus

Elizabeth Baum, Laurie Fish, Carol Green, Sally Grunsfeld, Mary D'Ouville,

Ida De Pencier, Joan Rosenberg, Eleanor Swift, Vida Wentz, Sally Zimmerman

Museum Education and Family Programs Volunteers

Adrienne Runge and Raya Townsend

Museum Education Outreach

Dorothy Blindt, Lilian Cropsey, Alice James, George Junker, Nina Longley, Melanie Petroskey,

Jo Lucas, Kay Matsumoto, Dorothy Mozinski, Larry Scheff, Helaine Staver, Carole Yoshida

Revised: July 30, 2007

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