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In Memoriam: Michael I. Sovern

January 22, 2020
Michael Sovern
Adele Chatfield-Taylor and American Ambassador Reginald Bartholomew cut the ribbon to the newly restored Academy while Michael Sovern (left) and Caroline Bruzelius look on, 1994
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The Board of Trustees, staff and friends of the American Academy in Rome mourn the passing of Michael I. Sovern. A noted legal scholar in labor relations and employment discrimination, he was the 17th president of Columbia University. Prior to his death, he was the Chancellor Kent Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.

An active and vibrant member of the Academy community, Michael served on the Academy’s Board of Trustees from 1993 - 2009, including as Chair (1994 - 2005), and on the Executive, Investment, and Finance Committees. Among his many honors, Michael was awarded the Centennial Medal in 2006, and was named Chair Emeritus in April 2010. The Michael I. Sovern / Columbia University Affiliated Fellowship, awarded by the Provost of Columbia University, was established by the Trustees of the American Academy in Rome and Friends of Columbia University in Michael’s honor, to support a member of the Columbia community in residence at the Academy.