Society of Fellows


News, Dues, and a Reunion

Patricia Cronin
Photo: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
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An update from SOF President Patricia Cronin, FAAR 2007 

15 March 2014 

Dear Fellows, Residents and Affiliated Fellows, 

It is my pleasure to write to you on the Ides of March with our Society of Fellows annual (and only) request for dues to fund receptions and events that keep us connected. I apologize for the length of this letter, but there is so much news I need to share with you.  We are at an exciting moment at the American Academy in Rome with one chapter ending and another beginning.  

As you all know, after 25 years of inspired leadership, Adele Chatfield-Taylor, FAAR 1984, has stepped down as President and CEO and we welcome Mark Robbins, FAAR 1997, as he begins his tenure. Just like Janus, looking back and looking forward, we cherish the legacy of Adele's wise stewardship and look forward to the new ideas and dynamism Mark will bring to the future of the organization that is so dear to our hearts.  

And there are changes here at the Society of Fellows too. Drew Beattie, FAAR 1995, has finished a stalwart five-year term as President and I have the honor of stepping into his shoes. Many thoughtful initiatives that promote the Fellows achievements and help us stay in touch were begun under Drew's direction and I hope to continue to grow those and add others that the Council of the Society of Fellows dreams up.  

2014 is already off to a busy start. SOF Council Members organized SOF/AAR sponsored receptions during professional conferences and meetings across the country (Chicago was extremely popular this year).  

On January 3, the Society of Fellows hosted a reception in conjunction with the Annual Meetings of the Archaeological Institute of America and the American Philological Society. This reception, organized by SOF Council Member Joanne Spurza, FAAR 1989, was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago and was well attended despite the frigid temperature. Mellon Professor (and just named new Director) Kim Bowes, FAAR 2006, was in attendance and spoke to those gathered.  

On February 14, SOF Council Member Richard Rezac, FAAR 2007, and Julia Fish hosted a reception at their home in conjunction with the College Art Association Annual Conference. It was also well attended given the polar vortex. President and CEO Mark Robbins was present and made remarks about the importance of the AAR and shared his short term and long term plans for the future.  

Our next reception, coinciding with the Renaissance Society of America annual meeting, will be on March 27th at the Academy's New York Office. SOF Council Members Stephanie Leone, FAAR 2000, and Alison Frazier, FAAR 1998, are organizing this event and Director Christopher S. Celenza, FAAR 1994, will attend.  (Click here to RSVP for this event.) 

Many thanks to all who organized these events. Upcoming receptions are always listed on the SOF website.  In an effort to enrich the application pool and introduce the AAR to others, you are invited to bring a colleague or promising graduate student with you to the receptions. 

The Cabaret, also known as the Fellows’ Ball, is now in its 4th year and fast becoming a treasured annual event where we can all meet and reconnect. On November 22, Fellows, Residents and Affiliated Fellows were seated by fellowship year, which was enjoyed by everyone. Rome Sustainable Food Program Founding Chef Mona Talbott cooked another magical meal and we were enthralled by a reading of new work by John Guare, RAAR 2013 and music from trustee David Lang, FAAR 1991, and Bang on a Can.  

Last year, the Academy began the Home from Rome lecture series and it is a great way for those who have returned from their glorious time in Rome to share their research, creative works and experiences. Held at the Metropolitan Club, they're almost like the Shop Talks, but on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. You never know who you're going to meet there!  

And there are lots of new initiatives underway. The Academy is in the midst of finalizing an online Directory, the brainchild of former Mellon Professor Corey Brennan, FAAR 1988. Currently, SOF Council Members are testing the site and I can tell you it's looking really great. Pretty soon we'll be able to search Fellows by keywords and specialized interests within or across disciplines. Look for it going live in a few months!  

We are so proud of all you accomplish as you fan out across the country and globe and we'd like to promote your good news. We encourage you to send us information on your new publications, concerts, exhibitions and awards, so we can publicize the amazing work of our Fellows. To share any recent and upcoming professional activities, send them to SOF Council Member Pamela Keech, FAAR 1982 adeptly manages the SOF section of the AAR website.  She will upload your news and events, keeping us all informed. 

We need your voices and your financial support to advance our mission of representing the Fellows after the Rome Prize year – to and for ourselves, to the prize winners going over each year and returning, and to those who will be newly governing the future of the organization.  

Our goal of 100% participation is so important because the highest level of participation greatly helps the Academy’s pursuit of fundraising. Major foundations ask - what percentage of your alumni participate in supporting your organization? The suggested annual dues are $40, but we are happy to offer a sliding scale. We need your support by being counted officially among our active dues-paying ranks so we can continue our mission. You can click here to pay your 2014 dues online. Or, if you prefer, you may send a check to the following address:  

Society of Fellows
American Academy in Rome
7 East 60 Street
New York, NY 10022-1001  

Lastly, we hope you saw the email announcement and invitation to join us for Rome 2014: Looking Forward Looking Back, a major reunion in Rome, 3 through 7 June 2014, bringing together AAR Fellows, Residents, Affiliated Fellows, friends, staff and Trustees for the annual Open Studios, Concerts, Readings and Walks and Talks during Trustees’ Week. As the website states: “The week of events will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Academy's residence in the McKim Mead and White building on the Janiculum, the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Library, and, finally, the 100th anniversary of the definitive joining ‒ in theory and practice ‒ of the fine arts and the humanities in one place. In short, this Rome Reunion will mark the moment when the Academy became the institution we know and love today: a place that supports artists, writers, and scholars living together and working innovatively in a dynamic, international community. Mark your calendars! We need your voice, your perspective, and your presence at the Academy to help propel us forward into the next hundred years.” You'll be receiving a letter from a representative of your fellowship year soon encouraging you to join us. Detailed information about the Reunion and Pre-registration is available on the website.  

Whether virtually or in person, staying connected to each other and continuing the fellowship we shared in Rome is so important to us. Please stay in touch and we look forward to seeing you at any and all of the upcoming receptions, lectures or the Reunion in Rome! 

Sincerely yours,

Patricia Cronin, FAAR 2007
President of the Society of Fellows