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Home > Research > Publications > Annual Reports > 1995-96 Annual Report

The Development Office


Cynthia Echols


From July 1995 through the close of June 1996 the Oriental Institute raised $1.5 million in nonfederal, private contributions and grants. This represents a 32% increase over the prior year. The membership program closed fiscal year 1995/96 with $104,767 in income. This year of strong renewal numbers and modest new member recruitment, combined with some reduction in operating overhead, resulted in a balance of $60,870 on June 30, 1996 for the membership program. Highlights of this very successful year include significant Legacy Campaign progress and a well-received year-end appeal. A complete Honor Roll of Donors and Members appears at the end of this Annual Report .

Fundraising Highlights

Our members responded in record numbers--and with larger-than-ever gifts--to our 1995 year-end appeal. With gifts from some 180 members, contributions totaled $142,631. Friends of Chicago House contributed $70,708 (including generous gifts from Xerox, the John Mark Rudkin Charitable Foundation, and Daniel and Lucia Woods Lindley); the Legacy Campaign received $58,386. Many thanks to all our members who supported the year-end appeal. We also wish to thank LaSalle National Bank for a very generous gift to Chicago House and the Epigraphic Survey for the purchase of a much-needed vehicle for transporting equipment, supplies, staff, and visitors.

The Chicago Community Trust awarded a substantial grant to our docent program to support the volunteer coordinators who are organizing a schedule of museum outreach presentations throughout the Chicago area beginning in fall 1996. The Chicago Community Trust has been a concerned partner with many outstanding Chicago-area nonprofits for over eighty years. As Chicago's community foundation the Trust is a union of numerous gifts and bequests which form permanent endowments. Income from these endowments is used to make grants to nonprofits that serve nearly every community in the metropolitan area. We thank the Chicago Community Trust for this generous support.

Other generous gifts and grants included awards from the Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust and the National Endowment for the Arts to support removal and conservation of our Assyrian reliefs during museum renovation; a bequest from the estate of Maurine Hughes to support Chicago House and the Demotic Dictionary; a grant from the University of Chicago Women's Board to purchase computer equipment to expand and improve the Oriental Institute's "electronic gateway"; and field and research project support from Mrs. Theodore D. Tieken.

The Legacy Campaign, our drive to finance climate control, expansion, and renovation at the Oriental Institute and museum, reached $6.9 million during this year. The generosity of Oriental Institute Visiting Committee members has provided leadership throughout the Campaign. Cumulatively the Committee has pledged more than $2.4 million to the building project. We thank each of these individuals for their dedication and extraordinary support.

This past year we welcomed two new Legacy Campaign corporate supporters: First Chicago and Northern Trust. We thank these corporations for their generosity and support. Other Legacy Campaign leadership gifts this past year included a $250,000 pledge from University of Chicago Trustee John Ong and pledges from Visiting Committee members Thomas Heagy and his wife Linda, Mary Gray and her husband Richard, and Tony and Lawrie Dean. We thank these individuals for so strongly supporting the Institute. And our congratulations to all who have contributed to our outstanding progress toward the goal of $10,100,000.

Members of the Legacy Campaign Executive Committee, co-chaired by Jill Carlotta Maher, James Sopranos, and Raymond Tindel, have devoted much time and energy to identifying and soliciting prospective donors in the corporate, foundation, and private sectors. We thank these dedicated and talented members (an Executive Committee roster follows this section). Their efforts have greatly accelerated fundraising progress, and groundbreaking for the new wing now is scheduled for August 1996.

Visiting Committee

We are pleased to announce three appointments to the Oriental Institute Visiting Committee: Margaret Foorman, a docent; Donald Hermann, professor of law at DePaul University; and Ira and Janina Marks, longtime members of the Oriental Institute. We thank each of these individuals for agreeing to serve on our Committee.

During fiscal year 1995/96 the Oriental Institute Visiting Committee met December 13, 1995 and May 13, 1996. Those meetings focused on the Institute's priority project: facilities improvements of climate control, expansion, and renovation. The December 13 meeting was a dinner at the University Club celebrating the Legacy Campaign halfway mark. In welcoming guests to the dinner William M. Sumner, Director of the Oriental Institute, reflected on the historic nature of this capital campaign. "As we celebrate the halfway mark in our Legacy Campaign, it gives me great pleasure to thank the Oriental Institute Visiting Committee for their dedication and generosity to our mission. Behind the bricks and mortar of our building project stand men and women such as you--individuals with the vision to lay the ground for future scholarship and discovery. I thank each of you. Together we shall indeed fulfill the legacy handed down to us by Breasted." The evening concluded with remarks by Visiting Committee Chairman, and University of Chicago Trustee, Robert Schloerb. The May 13 meeting preceded the Oriental Institute's Annual Dinner, which featured remarks by Charles E. Jones, Head of the Oriental Institute Research Archives.

Among social and educational events that included the Visiting Committee were an October 18 private showing of artifacts from the Oriental Institute's 1930s excavations at ancient Megiddo (in modern Israel) and buffet supper in the Director's Study; a February 7 reception marking the closure of the Egyptian Gallery to the public for renovation preparation; and, a June 6 dinner at the home of Janet and Robert Helman with Mark Lehner, Visiting Professor, speaking informally about his career and work on the Giza Plateau and Great Sphinx.

We also lost an invaluable member of the Visiting Committee this past year. Joan Rosenberg passed away in June. Joan's dedication--and generosity--to the Oriental Institute and museum leave a very personal legacy. She brought keen intelligence, great vitality, and wit to all her endeavors on our behalf. We will miss her.


We are pleased to note that Dionne Herron, a four-year veteran of the Office of Membership and Development, was promoted to Development Associate. In her new role Dionne manages gift processing (including documentation of charitable contributions for IRS deductions) and event planning. Dionne also oversees the James Henry Breasted Society rolls and coordinates all special events for this generous group. And we owe much to Florence Bonnick, Fiscal Administrative Assistant, for grant and proposal preparation and oversight; to Bill Harms, University News and Information, for publicity; and to Assistant Curator Emily Teeter for event and travel planning.

While much of the past year has been devoted to raising funds for our building project, it is the people, rather than bricks and mortar, that truly define the Oriental Institute. We thank all of our members, and especially the docents, for their support and work on behalf of the Oriental Institute and museum. The Development Office has benefited directly this past year from its own informal volunteer corps that included, among others, James and Margaret Foorman, Albert Haas, Thomas Heagy, Janet Helman, Jill Carlotta Maher, Robert Schloerb, Mary Shea, and Sharukin Yelda.

Revised: July 30, 2007

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