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Home > Research > Publications > Annual Reports > 1996-97 Annual Report

The Development Office


Cynthia Echols


From July 1996 through the close of June 1997 the Oriental Institute raised $1.7 million in non-federal, private gifts, and grants. This represents an 11% increase over the prior year. The Membership program closed fiscal year 1996/97 with $113,197 in income, a 7% increase. Membership and Development final ledgers for fiscal 1997 showed a balance of $51,293 on 30 June 1996. I thank all of our generous supporters who made this financial success possible and also my hard-working staff: Dionne Herron, Development Associate, and Tim Cashion, Membership Coordinator. Highlights of this very successful year include significant Legacy Campaign progress, a well-received year-end appeal, and a record-breaking gala benefit in May. A complete Honor Roll of Members and Donors appears at the end of this Annual Report.

Fundraising Highlights

The traditional year-end appeal raised $288,596 for many different Institute projects. More than doubling previous year-end gifts, this 1996 response is a credit to the extraordinary spirit and largesse of our members. We applaud you.

We are pleased to report continued growth on all fronts of our development program. Of the $1.7 million raised this year, $856,091 supported various projects excluding the Legacy Campaign for our onetime building project. This represents a 6% increase over the prior year support for non-building project activities. Over the past five fiscal years non-federal giving to the Oriental Institute has grown an average of 2.4% per year, with 12% growth from fiscal year 1992/93 to fiscal year 1996/97. Corporate giving shows +7% growth over the same five-year period, and foundation support (including multi-year grants) reached $551,000 in 1996/97.

Of particular note are generous grants from foundations, including the Polk Bros. Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Elizabeth Morse and Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trusts, the University of Chicago Women's Board, and the Institute for Aegean Prehistory. We thank these foundations for generous and much-needed support. Among Chicago corporations we especially wish to thank Amoco Corporation, LaSalle National Bank, Northern Trust, and the John Nuveen Company for pledges and gifts this past year.

The Legacy Campaign, our drive to finance climate control, expansion, and renovation at the Institute and Museum, reached $7.8 million. In particular we wish to acknowledge leadership gifts from Marjorie Fisher-Aronow, Mary Grimshaw, and O. J. Sopranos. The Campaign Executive Committee, co-chaired by Carlotta Maher, Jim Sopranos, and Ray Tindel, has labored mightily to ensure that the building project is fully financed as quickly as possible. We thank these dedicated and talented Institute leaders (an Executive Committee roster follows this section). Their efforts have greatly accelerated fundraising progress, as witnessed by the dedication ceremony for the cornerstone of our new wing in June 1997.

On 19 May the Institute hosted a black-tie gala at the Drake Hotel to benefit the Legacy Campaign. The evening's centerpiece was the presentation of the inaugural James Henry Breasted Medallion to Jill Carlotta Maher in recognition of her extraordinary volunteer service (see the Membership report for more about the gala). Romancing the Past, chaired by Tom and Linda Heagy, Tony and Lawrie Dean, and Nan and David Ray, raised $100,000 for the Legacy Campaign. Our special thanks for the record-breaking success of this event goes to: John Nuveen Company (Medallion Underwriters), Dr. Henrietta Herbolsheimer, ABN AMRO, The LaSalle Banks, Lehman Brothers, and Morgan Stanley (Underwriters). Other corporate supporters included Abbott Laboratories; Amoco Corporation; Cramer Krasselt Advertising and Public Relations; MidCon Corp; Miglin Beitler Inc.; Schwartz, Cooper, Greenberger & Krauss; VOA Associates; and Wasserstein, Perella, & Co.

Visiting Committee

We are pleased to announce that the University of Chicago Board of Trustees approved four new appointments to the Oriental Institute Visiting Committee: Phillip Miller of Oregon, Illinois; John Ong, Chairman Emeritus of B.F. Goodrich and a University of Chicago Trustee; the Reverend John Sevick, pastor of St. Walter's Parish; and Sharukin Yelda, orthopedic surgeon and member of the Chicago Assyrian community. Our thanks to each of these individuals for serving on our Committee.

We take great delight in congratulating two of our Committee members on well-deserved recognition this past spring. Tom Heagy was awarded an Alumni Service Citation by the University of Chicago and Tony Dean was elected to the University of Chicago Board of Trustees.

During fiscal year 1996/97 the Oriental Institute Visiting Committee met formally on two occasions. The Research Archives was the setting for a business meeting on 9 October followed by a tour of renovation work in progress and dinner in the Director's Study with Professor Robert Ritner, who presented the opening Members' Lecture for the academic year. On 13 February the Visiting Committee met at the University Club for a luncheon meeting and presentation by Professor Martha Roth, editor-in-charge of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary. The University of Chicago Board of Trustees hosted an all-campus Visiting Committee dinner, with guest speaker Professor Paul Sereno of the Anthropology Department, on 3 April.

In Memoriam

With sorrow we note the loss of two much-loved members of the Oriental Institute Visiting Committee. Homer Rosenberg, husband of Docent Joan Rosenberg, passed away in May. Roderick Webster, husband of fellow Visiting Committee member Marjorie Webster, passed away in late July 1997. We mourn the passing of these friends and seemingly tireless supporters. We shall long miss them.


We owe much to Florence Bonnick, Fiscal Administrative Assistant, for grant and proposal preparation and oversight; to Denise Browning for "sweat equity" as well as merchandising savvy for our Romancing the Past silent auction; to Bill Harms, University News and Information, for publicity; and to Associate Curator Emily Teeter for event and travel planning.

As always, our review of the year reminds us that it is individuals who are - metaphorically and literally - the Institute's heart: the spirit and the muscle. We achieved so much this past year because of the tremendous efforts of so many individuals. We thank all of our members, and especially the docents, for their support and work on behalf of the Institute and Museum. The Development Office benefited directly this past year from its own informal volunteer corps that included, among others, Wanda Bolton, Bud Haas, Tom Heagy, Janet Helman, Mary Jo Khuri, Carlotta Maher, Bob Schloerb, and Jim Sopranos.

Revised: July 30, 2007

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