Society of Fellows
SOCIETY OF FELLOWS
The Society of Fellows is a century year-old organization whose membership is comprised of those who have been awarded a Fellowship, Affiliated Fellowship, or Residency at the American Academy in Rome. Prize winners become members upon completing their residence at the Academy.
Those whose prizes were awarded through the Academy are given the title Fellow of the American Academy in Rome (FAAR) followed by the year their residence was completed. Those whose prizes came from an affiliated institution are Affiliated Fellows (AFAAR). Senior artists and scholars who were invited to spend a period residing at the Academy are officially called Residents and carry the title RAAR. These three titles are granted in perpetuity.
The Society of Fellows (SOF) strives to nurture the camaraderie and maintain the dialogue of ideas that makes the Academy experience so extraordinary. Efforts are made to create and maintain connections between Fellows and Residents by sponsoring receptions at professional conferences, holding events around the country, and posting events and news on the Academy website. The organization is governed by 18 Fellows and Residents who represent the various fields of study offered at the Academy.
All members are asked to contribute annual dues fee to help support the programs of the SOF. The amount is optional, usually between $10 to $100; $40 is suggested. Dues are payable annually on the Ides of March (15 March).
Society of Fellows Council
Kelly Powell, FAAR 2002
David Rubin, FAAR 2012
Vice Presidents 2016-2018
Seth Bernard, FAAR 2011
Michael Scott Cuthbert, FAAR 2005
Paul Davis, FAAR 1998
Cathy Lang Ho, FAAR 2009
Michael McClure, FAAR 2009
Richard Rezac, FAAR 2007
Council Members 2016-2020
Paul Arpaia, FAAR 2008
Modern Italian History
Alison Frazier, FAAR 1998
Post-Classical Humanistic Studies
Michael Gruber, FAAR 1996
Joanne Spurza, FAAR 1989
Elizabeth Walmsley, FAAR 2001
Council Members 2016-2018
Dave King, FAAR 2007
Rosa Lowinger, FAAR 2009
Blake Middleton, FAAR 1982
Gregory Waldrop, FAAR 2008
Renaissance & Early Modern Studies
Michael J. Waters, FAAR 2011
Renaissance & Early Modern Studies
Susan Yelavich, FAAR 2004
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In 1910, architect Lionel Moses approached William Rutherford Mead with the idea of forming a club for Rome Prize winners who had completed their residence at the Academy. Its purpose would be to maintain connections between Fellows, and advance the interests and well being of the Academy. Mead expressed his approval in a letter of May 26, 1910, “The project to form a society of Roman Academy Alumni is commendable in every way, and I assure you that should the idea be carried out you may count upon my good will in every respect.”
Christened The Association of Alumni of the American Academy in Rome or A.A.A.A.R., it was known colloquially as “the A’s in R.” At various times the organization has lain fallow but it has always regenerated itself, twice with a new name. In 1964 it became the Association of Fellows of the American Academy in Rome and in 1973 it became the Society of Fellows.
The A’s in R was centered in New York City, where members met formally and informally. Architecture Fellows maintained a standing lunch reservation at the Peg Woffington Coffee House on 44th Street. Artists gathered for dinner every Friday night at Keen’s Chop House, now Keen’s Steak House, on West 36th near 6th Avenue.
World War I almost resulted in the demise of the new organization, but it was reconstituted at a special meeting in New York where Lionel Moses was elected president, painter George W. Breck, FAAR 1899 (AAR Director 1906-1909) and sculptor Paul Manship, FAAR 1912 vice presidents. Architect Walter Kirby was elected secretary-treasurer.
The group instituted “The Alumni Newsletter,” first published in May 1918 to keep in touch with Fellows in the military. Edited by Frank Fairbanks, FAAR 1912, it consisted of four typewritten pages and was issued two to four times a month. Production cost was $7.40 including postage. The light tone of these wartime newsletters contrasts with their content—farewells to those newly inducted, news from those at the front, and tales of monetary hardship and failing practices from those at home.
After the war the A’s in R began meeting at the Century Club in New York City. The membership was concerned with the predicament of newly returned Fellows, whose years abroad had resulted in the loss of professional connections, and resolved to foster them. In 1919 it was decided in consultation with Academy trustees that the mission would include the following agenda:
- Meet Fellows before they go to Rome.
- Watch them while in Rome.
- Meet them on their return.
- Offer free use of office, etc.
- Get jobs for architects, painters and sculptors through Trustees watching for same and recommending
- Assist returning Fellows obtain employment
- Keep in touch with teaching jobs.
It is uncertain exactly when Fellows of the School of Classical Studies, which had officially become part of the Academy in 1911, were first invited to join the association. A newsletter of March 15, 1921 states that new members included 16 archaeologists, three architects, two painters and two sculptors. Female scholars (all Fellows of the School of Fine Arts were male) were essentially token members because the Century Club did not admit women.
Meetings at the Century Club were merry affairs. Calling themselves “Sons of the Wolf,” the men regularly transported a nearly life-sized, hollow metal replica of Rome’s famous she-wolf from the Academy’s New York office to the club where they filled her with wine and drank from her teats. This wolf statue still resides at the Academy office in New York but she doesn't get out much.
A gap in archival holdings results in a leap forward to 1948, just after WWII. That September, President Dale Badgely, FAAR 1929 held a dinner to welcome those returning from Rome and to greet those going over.
In July 1959, President Olindo Grossi, FAAR 1936 circulated a newsletter to Fellows stating that the officers and council were earnestly attempting to revitalize the group. Innovations included the first-ever regional meetings, an annual meeting to coincide with the Philological & Archaeological meeting and the publication of a directory. Annual dues were $7.50. It was noted that the Wolf was in need of repair “you know where.” Sculptor Gifford Proctor FAAR, 1935 volunteered to mend her.
The club was less active in the 1960s and early 1970s, but was resurrected by Henry A. Millon, FAAR 1960, RAAR 1966, who christened it the “Society of Fellows,” and Milton Lewine, FAAR 1961, RAAR 1973, who was elected president in 1973. Lewine became ill, and after he died in 1979, the society again became inactive. At about the same time, and without knowing of the existence of the Millon/Lewine group, Virginia Bush Suttman, FAAR 1977 spearheaded an effort to establish a new group. Eventually, the two were united and under Suttman’s leadership evolved into the group that exists today.
In the mid 1980s the group undertook the monumental task of publishing the Centennial Directory, a biographical encyclopedia of all Fellows and Residents of the American Academy in Rome, in honor of the 100th birthday of the Academy. Edited by Benjamin Kohl, FAAR 1971, and Academy staff Wayne Linker and Buff Suzanne Kavelman, it was published in 1995 by Italica Press.
The Society currently has about 900 living members including archaeologists, architects, classicists, artists, designers, historians, preservationists, conservators, composers, writers, art historians, critics and curators. Many are leaders in their fields. All individuals who have been awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy in Rome, hold fellowships from certain affiliated institutions, or serve as Residents become members at the completion of their time in Rome. A small pin in the shape of a rosette, designed by William Plumb, FAAR 1986, is presented to new members.
Bylaws of the Society of Fellows
Article I: Officers
1. The Officers of the Society shall be a President, six Vice Presidents, a Secretary, and a Treasurer; they shall be elected for two-year terms in alternate years by mail ballot and shall continue in office until their successors are elected. Election shall be by the affirmative ballots of a majority of the members voting. Officers may serve two successive terms and may be reelected after a term out of office.
2. The President, or in the President’s absence one of the other Officers, shall preside at all the meetings of the Society and of the Council and shall perform such duties as are customary to the office or as may be assigned to it by the Council. The President shall be, ex-officio, a member of all committees. The President may draw upon the funds of the Society for its benefit sums not to exceed $200; all larger sums must be authorized by the Council.
3. The Secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of the Society and of the Council and conduct the correspondence thereof; the Treasurer shall collect and disburse the funds of the Society under the general direction of the Council; and shall perform such other duties as are customary to the office or as may be assigned to it by the Council.
4. In the case of resignation, non-performance of duties, incapacity or death, an Officer may be replaced by two-thirds vote of the Council, for the balance of the unexpired term.
Article II: Council
1. There shall be an executive committee known as the Council, consisting of the nine officers and ten other active members, five drawn from the Classical School (including Art History and Post-Classical Studies) and five drawn from the School of Fine Arts. Of the Members of the Council other than Officers, one half shall be elected for four-year terms every two years by mail ballot and shall continue in office until their successors are elected. Election shall be by affirmative ballots of the majority of members voting. No member of the Council may serve two successive four-year terms.
2. The President and Director of the American Academy in Rome, and past Presidents of the Society of Fellows shall be, ex-officio, non-voting members of the Council.
3. In case of resignation, non-performance of duties, incapacity or death, a member of the Council may be replaced by two-thirds vote of the Council, for the balance of the unexpired term.
Article III: Committees
1. There shall be a Nominating Committee, appointed biennially by the Council, consisting of a Chair, who shall be a member of the Council, and four other active members who are not on the Council. The Nominating Committee shall be chosen to represent as widely as possible the professions of the membership.
The Nominating Committee shall solicit nominations from active members and shall draw up a slate for election as Officers and Members of the Council, representing as widely as possible the professions of the membership, and including a Fellow returned from Rome within the previous two years. Additional nominations may be made by petition signed by no fewer than 15 active members and received by the Secretary at least 30 days prior to the posting of the mail ballot, which shall occur in January of alternate years.
2. The Council or the President may appoint such other committees as are necessary.
Article IV: Dues
Annual dues, as set by the Council, shall be payable by the date set by the Council for the ensuing year.
Article V: Reporting to Members
The Officers and Council shall report to the members by mail annually, through the newsletter or in another written form. Upon petition of five percent of the active membership or his or her own initiative, the President shall call a meeting of the full membership. The meeting shall be set 90 days after the receipt of the petition. The Secretary shall announce the meeting to the membership at least 60 days in advance and prepare the agenda, items for which must be submitted at least 30 days before the meeting. Ten percent of active members shall constitute a quorum.
Article VI: Amendments
Any proposed amendments to this Constitution or Bylaws, after approval by the Council, shall be submitted by mail to all members of the Society. Forty days after the date of mailing the amendment shall be recorded as adopted by vote of the Society, provided that the amendment had been approved by two-thirds of the ballots received.
Article VII: Dissolution and distribution of assets
In the event of the dissolution of the Society, or the cessation of its activities or the failure to elect a Council on a continuing basis, all of the remaining assets and property of the Society shall after necessary expenses thereof be distributed to the American Academy in Rome (an educational 501 (c)(3) organization according to the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended), or, if the Academy does not at that time exist, to another organization to be used in such manner as in the judgment of a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York will best accomplish the general purposes for which this Society was formed.
2014-2015 Patricia Cronin, FAAR 2007
2009-2014 Drew Beattie, FAAR 1995
2008-2009 T. Corey Brennan, FAAR 1988
2004-2008 James Bodnar, FAAR 1980
2000-2004 Pamela Keech, FAAR 1982
1996-2000 Elizabeth Bartman, FAAR 1983
1992-1996 Peter Rolland, FAAR 1978
1988-1992 J. Michael Schwarting, FAAR 1970
1984-1988 Virginia Bush Suttman, FAAR 1977
1980-1984 Michael Graves, FAAR 1962, RAAR 1978
1973-1975 Milton Joseph Lewine, FAAR 1961, RAAR 1973
1964-1967 Richard B.K. McLanathan, FAAR 1949
1963-1964 Jack Beeson, FAAR 1950
1960-1963 Robert W. White, FAAR 1955, RAAR 1969
1958-1960 Olindo Grossi, FAAR 1936
1957-1958 Vincent C. Cerasi, FAAR 1950
1954-1956 Richard C. Murdock, FAAR 1933
1952-1954 Walker O. Cain, FAAR 1948
1950-1952 Joseph Kiselewski, FAAR 1929
1948-1950 Clarence Dale Badgeley, FAAR 1929
1946-1948 Richard K. Webel, FAAR 1929, RAAR 1961
1941-1946 Francis Scott Bradford, FAAR 1927
1942-1944 Eric Gugler* (McKim Scholar, 1911-1914)
1939-1941 Paul Manship, FAAR 1921
1937-1939 Michael Rapuano, FAAR 1930
1936-1937 Barry Faulkner, FAAR 1910
1935-1936 Edgar Irving Williams, FAAR 1912
1934-1935 John Gregory, FAAR 1915
1932-1934 James Kellum Smith, FAAR 1923
1931-1932 C.P. Jennewein, FAAR 1920
1920-1921 Edgar Irving Williams, FAAR 1912
1919 Walter B. Kirby (Traveling Scholar, 1913)
1918-1919 Lionel Moses (Special Student, 1913)
1917-1918 John Russell Pope, FAAR 1897
1914 Harold van Buren Magonigle, FAAR 1895
FAAR = Fellow of the American Academy in Rome
AFAAR = Affiliated Fellow of the American Academy in Rome
RAAR = Resident of the American Academy in Rome
* = Acting President
Society of Fellows
American Academy in Rome
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