The Membership Office
1997-98 ANNUAL REPORT
The Membership Office devoted 1996-1997 to continuing efforts to attract new members and to developing new programming. There were 1,245 Basic and Associate Membership gifts totaling $76,497.95 over the fiscal year; these figures represent 5% and 8% increases, respectively, over the previous year. We thank all of those members who have so loyally supported us during renovation and look forward to greeting them in the new Egyptian Gallery in 1999.
On 18 May 1998 over 280 members and friends joined us for Romancing the Past Comes Home, the Oriental Institute 1998 Annual Dinner. Held in the future Egyptian and Persian Galleries, the dinner featured a tribute from University Provost Geoffrey Stone to outgoing Visiting Committee Chairman Robert G. Schloerb and an address by Associate Professor of Egyptology Robert K. Ritner on "Some Practical Incantations of Egyptian Magic." Oriental Institute Director Gene Gragg proposed a toast to the newly reinstalled monumental statue of Tutankhamun, and many of the guests stopped by the statue for a closer look.
The Membership Office developed new programming in 1997/98, including an Associates Dinner with Gertrude Bell biographer Janet Wallach at the Fortnightly on 24 September 1997, a free members field trip to Argonne National Laboratory on 15 November 1997, and an open house featuring the Oriental Institute Dictionary projects, co-sponsored with the Museum Education Office, on 15 March 1998. In addition to these programs, our Members Lecture series continued with eight lectures:
22 October 1997: Raymond D. Tindel, Registrar and Associate Curator, Oriental Institute Museum, "A Celebration of Robert and Linda Braidwood: In Honor of Robert J. Braidwood's 90th Birthday."
12 November 1997: Israel Finkelstein and David Ussishkin, Tel Aviv University, "Back to Megiddo: In the Footsteps of the Oriental Institute Expedition."
3 December 1997: Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier, University of Heidelberg, "Minoans, Mycenaeans and Hittites in Western Anatolia: New Excavations at Bronze Age Miletus/Millawanda."
14 January 1998: Emily Teeter, Associate Curator, Oriental Institute Museum, "Medinet Habu: Life and Cult in Ancient Thebes: An Update on Current Research."
18 February 1998: David Reese, Field Museum of Natural History, "Man and Animal in the Ancient Mediterranean and Near East."*
11 March 1998: Benjamin Foster, Yale University, "Yankees in Eden: The Near East in Early American Thought."
22 April 1998: Gil Stein, Northwestern University, "Anatomy of a Mesopotamian Colony: Hacinebi, Turkey, 3700 bc."*
6 May 1998: Brian Hesse, University of Alabama at Birmingham, "Dog Love and Pig Hate in the Ancient Levant."
* Co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America
The Oriental Institute Travel Program enjoyed a strong year, with one domestic and three overseas departures. Egypt in Detroit, led by Associate Curator Emily Teeter, visited the Splendors of Ancient Egypt exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts in September, while Associate Professor Emeritus Richard L. Chambers toured Turkey that same month. Professor Emeritus Edward F. Wente led a group of members and University of Chicago alumni to Egypt in November, and Research Associate Abbas Alizadeh escorted sixteen travelers to Iran in April. We were particularly pleased with the last departure, as it represents a return to an area so important in the history of the Institute.
Revised: July 30, 2007