Chapter IV: The Chairmanship of Richard Hubbard Howland, 1965–1975
Chapter IV: The Chairmanship of Richard Hubbard Howland, 1965–1975
The decade of chairmanship of Richard Hubbard Howland (Pl. 10, e) of the Smithsonian Institution spanned portions of two Directorships in Athens, Henry Schroder Robinson until June 30, 1969 and James Robert McCredie succeeding him. On the Managing Committee John L. Caskey served as Vice Chairman and Alan L. Boegehold as Secretary throughout the period. It was a decade of many heavy problems for the School which needed close face-to-face consultation between the Chairman of the Managing Committee and the Director; it was fortunate for the School that Richard Howland was able to give that kind of attention to the School’s affairs. His frequent visits to Athens kept him in close touch with situations there and allowed a quick and profitable interchange between the Managing Committee and the School. The Trustees too kept in close touch, with frequent visits from President Frederick Crawford and Chairman Ward M. Canaday and two meetings of the whole Board in Athens, in 1969 and 1972.
The program at the School remained essentially the same as in the recent previous years. For the fall trips Delos was dropped in 1966 and thereafter, but the hard core of the trips from earliest days, namely the chief sites of Central Greece and the Peloponnese, remained every year, with those of the latter area divided into two trips, one to the Argolid and Corinthia, usually made as the last trip of the fall, and the other to the west of the Peloponnese. In addition to the Central Greece trip made every year, there were added in alternate years sites in Macedonia including Samothrace and Thasos or those in the northwest, including Corfu in 1974. These trips continued to be conducted by the Director (Henry Robinson and later James McCredie) or the Professor of Archaeology (Eugene Vanderpool through June 1971, thereafter C. W. J. Eliot) with the addition beginning in 1966 of Charles Williams, II, Field Director of the Corinth Excavations, who usually conducted the Argo-lid-Corinthia trip. The generosity of many Greek and foreign excavators in showing the School over their sites added tremendously to the excitement of many of the newer excavations, e.g. Photios Petsas at the Tomb of Lefkadia, Emil Kunze at Olympia. The day at Samothrace with James McCredie after he became Director was always a high point and well worth the difficulties occasionally encountered in getting there. Occasional special trips were undertaken such as that to Thera at the end of the winter term in 1970 through the kind cooperation of Professors Marinatos and Mylonas and Mr. Doumas. In 1971 two more optional trips were arranged, one to sites in Phokis and Southern Boiotia conducted by McCredie and Vanderpool, another to Crete by J. Walter Graham; both were popular and highly successful. The regular winter schedule of the Topography and Monuments of Athens, conducted chiefly by Vanderpool and later Eliot, and the Friday trips to sites in Attica led by the Director or Professors of Archaeology remained the principal winter activity. Professor Vanderpool continued to conduct some of these meetings after his retirement in 1971 and the other Professor Emeritus, Oscar Broneer, also lectured on certain of his special areas of interest. In January to March 1975 when Professor Eliot was on sabbatical leave Judith Binder, as Visiting Lecturer, conducted some of the Athenian and Attic sessions; Merle K. Langdon and John McK. Camp II also did some.
In addition to these constants were the ever varied offerings by the Visiting Professors (the name given from 1967 on to both the representatives on the Managing Committee who were formerly distinguished as Annual and Visiting Professors). It is worth recording the “courses” they offered, voluntarily, since their remuneration of travel expenses to come as “Special Research Fellows” of the School never carried with it a requirement to undertake any formal work with the students. Visiting Professors have never failed, however, to meet with the students through the winter “term” of December, January, February and part of March to guide them on subjects of their special interest and experience. The tremendous variety of these subjects is some measure not only of the wide opportunities offered to students, varying each year, but particularly of the wide range of scholarship inspired and sponsored by the School. Nearly all these Visiting Professors in this decade had been members of the School earlier. In 1965-66 the subjects offered were Vase Painting (Cedric G. Boulter), Hesiod and the Agricultural Calendar (Michael H. Jameson); 1966-67: Epigraphy (Sterling Dow), Kleisthenes (C. W. J. Eliot); 1967-68: Parthenon (Paul A. Clement), The Pentekontaetia (Malcolm F. McGregor); 1968-69: Documents in Athenian History (Alan L. Boegehold), Euripides (Joseph Conant); 1969-70: Attic Epigraphy of the Fifth Century (Benjamin D. Meritt), Two Oedipus Plays (Norman T. Pratt); 1970-71: Roman Provincial Administration (James H. Oliver), Tragedy and Athens (Henry R. Immerwahr); 1971-72: Herodotos (Harry C. Avery), Development of the Athenian Constitution (Oscar W. Reinmuth); 1972-73: Athens from Kylon to Kleisthenes (Mary E. White), Second Athenian Confederacy (Fordyce W. Mitchel); 1973-74: Tragedy and Politics (William M. Calder III), The Role of Myth in the Creative Process (Jacob E. Nyenhuis); 1974-75: Greece and the Near East in the 8th to 6th centuries b.c. (Jean M. Davison), Plato’s Early Dialogues (Charles H. Kahn).
The changing character of the School’s membership, which had been for some years previously bringing a larger and larger proportion of senior research fellows and older Associate Members in relation to the number of regular first-year students, had an effect on the intellectual fare offered to these students. With so many older scholars and even younger scholars with a number of years residence at the School, a great number of studies were being carried on under the roof of the School which could not fail to interest most of the members, older and younger. In several of the years of this period, depending on the interests of the particular personnel, there were held after tea one day a week during the winter a series of sessions at which members with a piece of research ready for discussion would present reports on their work in progress. Other members attended or not according to their interest and available time. Still further opportunities for first-year students to learn something of excavation methods were offered in the sessions on excavation pottery carried on by Fellows of the Athenian Agora, Stephen and Stella Miller and later John Camp. From time to time, too, other alumni back at the School working on various research projects would guide the new students through the material of their specialties in the Athenian museums, e.g. Carl Blegen and later George Mylonas the Bronze Age rooms of the National Museum; Evelyn Harrison, Brunilde Ridgway and Caroline Houser the sculpture; Eugene Vanderpool, D. A. Amyx and Jean Davison the pottery; Joan Fisher of the Corinth staff and John Kroll of the Agora staff the numismatics; Fordyce Mitchel and Alan Boegehold the epigraphy; later, several Greek colleagues held sessions in the Benaki and Byzantine museums. David Jordan led a group including members of the British School which met to discuss epigraphical work in progress.
Most popular of all to those of agile limb as well as topographical bent were the increasingly famous Saturday walks around Attica with “E V” which gave that special group each year an ever deepening understanding of all aspects of the Greek countryside, ancient, mediaeval and modern, along with an ever growing admiration and affection for their incomparable leader, Eugene Vanderpool.
With the coming of spring the excavation or independent work season arrived as traditionally, with a new possibility for all first-year regular students beginning in 1967. Charles Williams took up his duties as Field Director of the Corinth Excavations in July 1966; by spring 1967 he saw the potential in a two-week training session which would be offered to all regular students of the School who would appreciate the opportunity to learn something of excavation methods and techniques regardless of whether they have an interest in continuing further in field work. The value of this training has been amply attested by nearly all students of the School ever since. It is recognized by many alumni of the School as one of the most significant of the varied kinds of training and experience the year at the School offers classical students whatever their special talents and inclinations. Many of the students remained on the Corinthian staff for the regular season after the training session; others went off to the excavations of their universities or turned to their own individual studies. The provision for a paper to be presented by those who do not occupy themselves in the spring at excavations continued to be very flexibly enforced. Some students complied eagerly, happily and promptly; others sent back papers based on the work of the spring several years later; others did none at all; the Director felt uncertain about the wisdom of strict enforcement.
One of the factors contributing to the uncertainties about making any strict requirement of students lay in a situation both Directors more than once begged to have clarified for them. Fellows and students (16 in number and 20 after 1969) were selected for their demonstrated and potential ability and excellence on the theory, based on the School’s avowed purpose, that a year of residence in Greece with exposure to its land and monuments would increase their quality and effectiveness as classicists. Not infrequently the student comes the year of or immediately before his doctoral examinations or while writing his thesis; when this is so, the tug between the upcoming commitment to his university and the opportunities of learning in Greece is sometimes an uneven one, and the student sometimes spends much of his year doing what he might better have stayed at home to do and gains too little of the advantages Greece and the School offer. The Directors begged for guidance from members of the Managing Committee who send their students at such a time in their careers as to what they expect of them, so that advice and assistance may be given such students to gain the most possible from their stay in Athens.
In most cases, however, the students appeared to continue to gain a goodly measure of both profit and pleasure from the year, as has been the general case throughout the century. If more voices were heard in less than appreciation of the School in this decade, one must recall the actual date. The general unrest and questioning of existing conditions which characterized certain student groups in many areas of the United States in the late 60’s were bound to spill over into American institutions of learning elsewhere. Actually more objections were raised a bit later, in the early 70’s, by younger members of the Managing Committee, and more changes took place in their Regulations (see below) than in the activity at the School itself. The one area in which protest brought change at the School was in housing. Beginning in 1966-67 first-year students who were unmarried or married without children were no longer automatically expected to live in Loring Hall, yet all but two chose to do so that first year and most continued to do so in the following years. Residents were not required to take their meals there, and in the first years, when the ever increasing inflation in Greece had not yet reached the proportions it did later, many took advantage of this privilege. As the cost of food continued to rise, however, more and more students both old and new came back to Loring Hall for both room and board as the most economical arrangement they could find. The School took the financial loss in the lean years of residents and diners in an effort to allow the independence so eagerly sought, with the conviction also that living and eating out in Athens should serve to improve the students’ knowledge of modern Greek, always an accomplishment the School has strongly encouraged. From 1968 the management of Loring Hall by Mrs. Fidao improved conditions emphatically.
The repairs to the physical plant which had begun at the start of Henry Robinson’s directorship and had continued, some every year, were concluded with the repainting of the exterior of the Main Building and the surrounding fences in the summer of 1968. This refurbishing of the buildings and in some cases renovations as well as necessary repairs put the three main buildings in Athens into shape to serve the School’s needs for some time ahead with normal upkeep. The framing of many of the Edward Lear watercolors owned by the Gennadeion added to the framed engravings from Mr. Kyriakides’ bequest gave many of the rooms a pleasant distinction as well as attractiveness.
The staff continued the many services to the community which had been established for some years. There was an Open Meeting each year for all the archaeological company in Athens. The Director regularly gave a summary of American excavations of the preceding year and another staff member gave a more detailed report: 1966, Michael Jameson on the Porto Cheli excavations; 1967, Charles Williams on Corinth; 1968, William Biers on the Roman Bath at Corinth; 1969, Henry Robinson on the Archaic Temples at Corinth; 1970, Charles Williams on the Ancient Agora at Corinth; 1971, T. Leslie Shear, Jr. on the Royal Stoa in Athens; 1972, Eugene Vanderpool on Frederick North’s Athenian Sketchbook; 1973, John Travlos on the Parthenon in the Age of Julian; 1974, Thomas Jacobsen on the Franchthi Cave; 1975, Oscar Broneer on the Theater of Dionysos: The Early Form of the Skene and Orchestra. A few extra public lectures were given by some of the Visiting Professors. For the more general American public in Greece the lectures for AWOG which began in 1947-48 were continued only through 1967 (see above, pp. 34, 41, 47, 60, 71, 85). Thereafter, however, the staff spent many hours each year conducting special guests around Athenian points of archaeological interest at the request of the Embassy.
In 1967 a series of three 25-minute talks were given in Greek on Radio Athens, by Homer Thompson on the history, organization and function of the School and the history of the Agora Excavations, by John Travlos on the results of the Agora Excavations in architecture and town planning and by Eugene Vanderpool on the Museum in the Agora.
Several momentous changes took place in the staff during Richard Howland’s chairmanship in addition to the change of Directors mentioned above. Henry Schroder Robinson completed his second term of five years in 1969 and was succeeded by James Robert McCredie (Pl. 12, f) of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Henry Robinson’s great contribution to the School was the revival of work at Corinth; this unwavering dedication to Corinth and its future is fittingly honored by the naming for him of one of the new residence wings of the excavation house (below, pp. 167-168). But he also labored with great concentration on every detail to keep the year-round program of the School of high academic standard. He worked closely with the Committee on Admissions and Fellowships to secure the most promising young classicists as members of the School, Regular and Associate. He recognized too what the School could do to help in many ways the classicists and interested visitors who came to Athens in increasingly large numbers. His own personal attention to the mountain of requests for every kind of assistance that reared up in the Director’s office would have left a less dedicated man without the time and energy to carry on the constantly growing administrative demands both within the School itself (including the major repairs to the buildings) and in relation to the Greek authorities. In paying attention to so many requests he not only built up goodwill for the School but was indeed spreading interest in Greek studies among many varying kinds of visitors.
James McCredie had been a student at the School in 1958-59 and 1961-62 (as Charles Eliot Norton Fellow) and had excavated Koroni with Professor Vanderpool in 1960. As a member of the faculty of the Institute of Fine Arts since 1962 he had joined the staff of Samothrace and from 1962 was its Field Director; he had spent 1965-66 at the School, and so he came to the Directorship well familiar with the School of the time.
In 1966-67 Mary Zelia Philippides was given leave of absence to concentrate on her assignment to publish the black-figured pottery found in the Athenian Agora. Her position as Librarian of the School was filled that year by two librarians from the University of North Carolina Library, each one serving one semester, Louise McG. Hall and Eileen McIlvaine. Then on December 21, 1971, Mrs. Philippides retired after breaking in two Assistant Librarians to take over the work she had accomplished single-handedly for most of her thirteen years of service. Thomas P. Jedele began on September 1, 1971 and Nancy A. Winter on October 1, 1971, and both continued to share the responsibilities of the Librarianship as Associate Librarians in 1972-73. In July 1973 Miss Winter took over as Librarian with an Assistant Librarian such as had been provided for Mrs. Philippides in 1966. Mrs. Philippides had served since 1958, the first professionally trained librarian the School had enjoyed. Trained first as an archaeologist and a life-long scholar of Greek vases, she brought to the position a scholar’s understanding of the scholar’s needs, the professional librarian’s experience in technical and practical matters, a sensitive human being’s generosity of spirit in her dealings with both the ever increasing number of members of the School and the very considerable number of foreign scholars and American diplomats and visiting scholars who turned to her for help and guidance and never went away empty-handed, rarely disappointed in their quests. She undertook the staggering task of making a new catalogue for the whole collection at the same time that she kept the collection up to date with more and more books appearing at higher and higher costs from a budget always receding in relation to the demands upon it to keep the Library the first-rate center of the School’s work. She had set a standard and created an atmosphere far from easy for one who came after to maintain, but Miss Winter has done so, and the Library continues to be cited frequently by scholars as one of the most pleasant and satisfactory places to pursue academic studies. The new catalogue completed with many more subject cards, the topographical bibliography, the ease of access to the shelves all contribute, but Miss Winter’s own knowledge of the collection as an archaeologist as well as Librarian and her friendly eagerness to help when needed continue the excellent conditions of work. As in all aspects of the School, the negative factor has been a financial one; the available funds are not adequate to keep up all departments of the Library as should be done, especially since the range of classical and archaeological studies continues to widen.
Another change of significance came with the death on June 5, 1967 of Aristides Kyriakides who had been our Legal Adviser since he took over that heavy responsibility after the death of his predecessor Anastasios Adossides in 1942 during the War. We have spoken above (pp. 17, 19, 25, 26) of how he and Mr. Stevens guided the School through those troubled years; his legal knowledge and skill but far more his wisdom and human understanding had been put at the disposal of the School tirelessly and with effectiveness as great as his personal devotion to the School through a quarter century. His life for the School is well expressed in a letter of June 26, 1951 to Director Caskey, “I do not consider my work at the School merely as a professional job but as a contribution towards a noble purpose which promotes science and my country. That is why, without being an archaeologist, I feel I am a colleague and real friend in a common effort.” It was suitable that a memorial to that service should take a form which would remind future members of his strong interest in music, drama and other visual arts, a fund for the Library for books in those fields.
Earlier in 1967, in April, another death brought a major change in the Corinthian scene. Evangelos Lekkas, devoted foreman and friend of the School, died on his way to his post, faithful to the last (see below, pp. 162-163).
Retirement removed during these years the member of the Gennadeion staff of longest tenure, Eurydice Demetracopoulou, who after 32 years of service retired as Assistant Librarian on June 30, 1969 (see below, p. 234) and was succeeded by Sophie Papageorgiou.
Two years later, June 30, 1971, two others who had served the administration of the School long and devotedly were lost through retirement, Eustratios Athanassiades who had been since 1946 the skilled Business Manager (Accountant) ever loyal, helpful and cheerful, and Georgios Sakkas, that other member of the Business Office to whom all members of the School are indebted for help and kindness unlimited. They were succeeded by Ioanna Driva and Panayiotis Asiatides. Retirement also ended the service of Lucy Shoe Meritt as Editor of Publications for 22 years on September 30, 1972 (see below, p. 269), at which time Marian Holland McAllister took over.
It was, however, the year 1971 which saw the largest number and most significant of changes and losses in the staff. Mrs. Philippides’ departure as Librarian in December has been noted above (p. 103). In June and August the Professorships of Archaeology had suffered monumental losses. With the death on August 24th of Carl William Blegen (Pls. 12, c; 15, a) the School lost a devoted friend, a distinguished scholar, a generous and dedicated teacher, a wise counselor who had been associated with the School continuously, save for a few years, since he arrived as a student in 1910. A mere enumeration of his official positions fails to suggest his close and generous association with the School’s affairs and personnel, staff and students alike, but nearly all who have passed the threshold in that stretch of over half a century are the richer and wiser for having crossed his path; each of them knows what he meant to them as well as to the School as a whole. For the record, however, here is the bald list: Student 1910–1913, Secretary of the School 1913–1920, Assistant Director 1920–1926, Acting Director 1926-27, Member of the Managing Committee 1920–1927, 1944–1971, Chairman of the Alumni Association 1947–1949, Director 1948-49, Professor of Archaeology 1949–1971. In the latter capacity Carl Blegen’s lectures in the Bronze Age rooms of the National Museum were a high point of each winter term of the regular sessions of the School, and to the students of many a summer session his guiding them over the Palace at Pylos was an unforgettable experience (see below for his excavation of that site, p. 207). Not the least vivid in the memories of members of the School family are the gatherings at 9 Plutarch Street when his fund of tales and his gentle concern for each individual endeared him to one and all. That the Library of the School should have been in 1973 named the Blegen Library for Carl and Elizabeth (who had died on September 21, 1966) Blegen who had given that home and its fine and extensive library to the School is eminently fitting.
There was one, however, who had made an even greater impact on every one associated in any way with the School since 1948 when he became the Professor of Archaeology, Eugene Vanderpool (Pl. 13, b). When he retired on June 30, 1971 many felt as if “Mr. American School” had indeed gone. Luckily for everyone Eugene Vanderpool has continued as Professor of Archaeology Emeritus to be in his office, available to all comers, to conduct some of the sessions of the courses in the Topography of Athens and the Sites of Attica, to carry on his famous Saturday walks through Attica with a welcome to all who would share them, and to be the modest, self-effacing man of fewest possible words who with those words shares one of the widest knowledges and most sensitive understandings of Greece and Greeks, countryside, monuments, birds, flowers, people of all ages. “E V” came to the School first in 1929 as a student just graduated from Princeton University. He returned in 1932 as Athenian Agora Fellow and was Agora Fellow and then Assistant Field Director until 1967 at the same time that he was Professor of Archaeology, occupying in reality two full-time positions of the highest responsibility. His unique service to the School during the war has been noted earlier (pp. 8, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17-18). As excavator and as Professor at the School Vanderpool’s interests and proficiencies lie in many fields; there is no aspect of ancient archaeology and literature and few in the later periods unfamiliar to him, and his publications extend over a wide range, but it is in the fields of Athenian and Attic epigraphy and topography that his greatest contributions have been made, in numerous publications as in teaching and directing others. His guidance and concern for members of the School and their work through a whole generation, his masterly teaching, his wise and firm administration of both the School whenever the Director was in America and the Agora Excavations when the Field Director was not in Athens made him all but indispensable to staff and students alike for information, advice, understanding. There has never been a more beloved member of the School community. Because every student of the School (and “student” here includes every one associated with the School) owes him such an incalculable debt, it was right that their tribute to him should be in the form of a fellowship in his name, held for the first time in 1971-72. It is awarded to a second-year student on recommendation of the Director, and it “will permanently call to mind the ideals of scholarship and teaching he personifies.”
On July 1, 1971 C. William J. Eliot came from the University of British Columbia to be Professor of Archaeology. As Fellow of the School in 1952–1954 and Secretary of the School in 1954–1957, he was not unfamiliar with the program of the School and the sites of Greece generally and Attica particularly. A disciple of “E V” in the exploration of Attica, he was well experienced to take over the Professor’s share of the teaching regularly divided between Director and Professor of Archaeology. Eliot’s interests too were wide, and his pursuit of matters concerning aspects of the Greek Revolution and 19th-century Greece drew the attention of the students to modern as well as to ancient Greece as they traveled about and furnished the material for a number of his publications during his Professorship. The School was glad to have him continue his connection with the excavation sponsored by the University of British Columbia at Anamur, a Late Roman site in Rough Cilicia in Turkey, and he worked there for several weeks in 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1975; the advantages to the School of having its Professor of Archaeology take an active part in field work are clear (both Broneer and Vanderpool were distinguished excavators).
For some time there had been a feeling that some arrangement should be made for members of the staff to have sabbatical leave; on November 20, 1973 the Trustees approved. Widely as the idea was applauded in principle, it proved all but impossible to work out in practice, especially in the case of the Director. An attempt was made in 1973-74 when James McCredie was on leave from January to June and Richard Stillwell (Pl. 11, e), a former Director, acted in his place. It is extremely difficult for anyone to assume the heavy directorial responsibilities for such a short time without recent close association with the problems, but Mr. Stillwell did so effectively with the outstanding assistance of his wife Celia Sachs Stillwell. The following year, 1974-75, the Professor of Archaeology, C. W. J. Eliot, was on leave from January 1 to July, 1975; a special Visiting Lecturer was appointed to conduct ten seminars on the Monuments of Athens and Topography of Attica between January 1 and March 15, Judith Perlzweig Binder, a former member of the staff of the Athenian Agora Excavations and a former Secretary of the Corinth Excavations. The sabbatical leave for the Librarian of the Gennadeion in 1960-61 and the Librarian of the School in 1966-67 had worked well, but it was a more difficult matter for the Director and the Professor of Archaeology whose responsibilities are of a different nature and not quickly or easily shifted.
From 1968 Dr. Elpidophoros Papantoniou served as physician for members of the School, and he earned their deep appreciation of his skill and his kindness often well “beyond the call of duty” until he retired in 1978.
There were several special occasions of honor to alumni of the School in which members of the School shared the festivities. In 1965 the first award of the newly instituted Gold Medal of the Archaeological Institute of America for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement was made to Carl William Blegen. Since he was not in the United States to accept it, arrangements were made to have it presented to him by the U. S. Ambassador Phillips Talbot at his residence in a ceremony on February 28, 1966 attended by an international as well as American group of archaeologists. In 1969 the Gold Medal was awarded to three men closely connected with the School throughout their careers: Rhys Carpenter, Oscar Broneer and William Bell Dinsmoor; since Dinsmoor was in Athens, his medal was presented to him on February 14, 1970 in a ceremony in Athens attended by many of the School and foreign community. The same year George E. Mylonas was elected a member of the Academy of Athens. All members of the School were invited, along with the students of the University of Athens and the representatives of the other foreign schools, to a convocation (on March 4, 1970) of the School of Philosophy of the University of Athens in the main hall of the University at which Benjamin D. Meritt was awarded an honorary doctoral degree. He accepted it with an address on ‘Eπιγραφικαì Σπoνδαì ἐν ‘Eλλάδι many members of the School were present.
Nor was this decade without dedication ceremonies. The new excavation house at Corinth, named in memory of Bert Hodge Hill, was dedicated on December 1, 1971 (see below, p. 166), and the new wings of the Gennadeion were dedicated on May 19, 1972 (see below, p. 232). The latter was planned to coincide with a meeting of the Trustees held at the School especially to consider whether 9 Plutarch Street could be retained or should be sold to provide the actual cash by then so seriously needed to continue to operate the School along the former lines. Inflation had so crucially affected the School’s resources that funds had to be found. After examining the property and the remainder of the School installations and its activities the Trustees decided at that meeting to sell the Blegen house. This was a hard decision for everyone. For those on the Managing Committee and among the alumni who cherished memories and affection for the house and its occupants, the Blegens and Hills, and had looked forward to it being a permanent part of the School it was a bitter blow. For those who had to weigh those feelings, along with the equally cogent consideration of the moral responsibility of the School to preserve one of the all too few remaining fine 19th-century buildings, against the already precarious financial state of the School which threatened to worsen rapidly the choice was one of the most difficult in the School’s history.
Director McCredie saw clearly the financial trouble ahead and had voiced a “note of caution” in his Annual Report written on April 10, 1972. He begged that the Managing Committee consider priorities “both among and within our various programs,” specifically “general policy on the scope and aims of our excavations and on the areas to be strengthened by acquisitions in our two libraries.” Recent expansion in buildings, in excavations, in the libraries, and in the number of Research Fellows, Associate Members, and visiting scholars (which had increased by nearly half in the previous three years) were all to the good in increasing the usefulness of the School but were requiring more money and less attention “to formerly basic work of the School.” Two years later, on March 26, 1974, as he had predicted, the situation had become critical, and he wrote “Our options are clear: either we must find a considerable amount of money to maintain the School as it now is or we must restrict our activities to those which can be supported by our present funds. . . . Where can our activities be restricted without destruction of the basic purposes of the School, or where can new permanent income be generated? . . . advice is urgently needed if we are to maintain the present standards of the School.”
One source of new permanent income was the sale of the Blegen house in November 1973 for $900,000; it was sold to Vassilios Goulandris and his wife who planned to keep the building and convert it into a private museum. If the School had to part with the home Mrs. Blegen had bought on July 20, 1929, this was the best possible disposition, for it saved the building. Its library was transferred to the School Library which it enriched by some thousand volumes; many duplicates were kept against the time they would be needed to replace volumes too worn for further use, other duplicates were sold to members of the School, the proceeds used for the purchase of needed volumes. Furniture and carpets were used to enrich the furnishings of the Director’s apartment, Loring Hall and other School residential areas both in Athens and in Corinth.
Elizabeth Pierce Blegen was but one of the close friends and former students lost to the School by death in this decade. Another who had made his home in Athens since 1961 had been closely associated with the School since his days as Fellow in Architecture in 1908–1912, William Bell Dinsmoor. His study of the Propylaia, which became legendary as he strove to check and recheck fine point after fine point, had been eagerly anticipated by all archaeologists, and there had been hope that after his retirement from Columbia University, when he came back to Athens to stay he would at last be able to complete it as well as the West Shops of Corinth, but critical illness robbed him of several years of effective work. Although he continued to work with amazing determination in his latter, invalid years, at the end the scholarly world was still deprived of the Propylaia publication by the acknowledged master of Greek architectural study. Dinsmoor died in Athens on July 2, 1973 and was buried in the Protestant section of the First Cemetery. On May 1, 1975 Eurydice Demetracopoulou of the Gennadeion from 1937 to 1975 died (see below, pp. 234-235).
We have seen the character of the total company at the School change more in these ten than in the preceding eighty odd years. In 1972-73 less than one-third of the students were regular members; in 1974-75 the number of Associate Members had grown to 28 compared to 15 regular first-year members. When the 13 Research Fellows, 6 of the School, 7 others, are added to the 28 it makes a very heavy concentration of older members compared to the regular members. The number of visiting Research Fellows who associated themselves with the School varied from year to year from about 6 to 10, but the number of Associate Members seemed to climb each year till it reached about 30 by 1975. Although officially these non-regular members had no call upon the academic staff of the School, actually the administration of the School did provide much assistance, and the use of the Library facilities by such a large number altered conditions there materially. Costs to the School in both drachmas and hours of service were very considerable. On the other side of the coin was the wide range of interests, of specialties, of real assistance to the regular students provided by this group (many of whom were generous in volunteering lectures and guidance to groups of students as well as to individuals), the distinction brought to the School by their study and achievements in scholarship, and the broadening of the contribution of the School to the cause of Greek studies in the United States, its fundamental reason for existence. It would be impossible to weigh gains against losses, but the total gains academically were great. The chief loss, academically, was in the change from the small, almost family group of earlier years with all the benefits a small, closely knit company of students and scholars gives to each other.
If the changes in Athens were considerable in this period of the School’s history, they were almost as nothing compared to the revolutionary changes which took place in the Managing Committee at the same time. More fundamental changes in its membership and its operation were made than in all its previous history.
The number of Cooperating Institutions rose from 95 in 1965 to 113 in 1975, and that additional support, both financially and academically, was warmly appreciated. New members of the Managing Committee were elected at each meeting in greater numbers than ever before, both because of the new institutions and new ex officio members (in December 1972 the Professor of Archaeology, the Field Directors of the School’s Excavations, the Director of the Gennadius Library, and the Editor of Publications were elected) and because an unusually large number of earlier members retired during this period and were replaced with active teaching members to represent their Institutions. The composition, therefore, of the Committee changed rapidly, and when in 1966 a regulation deprived members who were emeriti at their institutions from a vote in the Committee, most of them ceased their attendance and, unfortunately, often also their interest and contributions to the School. In a very few years, then, the members with experience in the School’s affairs dwindled, and the large majority were new to the Committee and to the problems of the School, even though many were recent alumni. This new Managing Committee began to look to its composition and its Regulations. The majority seemed to favor wider, unexperienced, short-term representation with more varied points of view on the committees over longer-termed service which allowed for the benefit of experience.
The first changes came as a result of expressed dissatisfaction with what appeared to be an inequity in representation on the Committee. The older philosophy of membership had been that members were elected to the Managing Committee to represent their institutions, but once on the Committee their responsibility was to the best interests of the School; they served the School with the ever increasing understanding and devotion that came with experience. The value of their membership on the Committee lay in their experience which the Managing Committee did not wish to lose, if and when they moved from institution to institution as academic people do. It so happened, therefore, that an institution sometimes acquired more than the one member required by the Regulations, frequently two but in one or two cases as many as four, usually, however, in more than one department. The newer thinking was based more on the point of view of the individual institution than on that of the School and objected to this imbalance. In response to this objection, on December 28, 1966 the Personnel Committee offered three provisions which were voted by the Managing Committee: 1) at any given meeting no more than two representatives from a single institution shall vote; 2) members emeriti will be notified of meetings, may attend meetings and be heard but may not vote; 3) if a member transfers from the institution which he was elected to represent, he may retain his membership if the institution to which he transfers is a supporting institution and if this institution expressly desires him to be its representative. In such a case it may happen that the institution to which he transfers may have two or even more representatives. In May 1967 a further clarification of No. 3 was voted: at the death or transfer of a member representing an institution which has other active representation on the Managing Committee that institution is not entitled to replace the departed member. No. 2 was submitted again in 1969, advance notice having been given on December 29, 1968, and was approved on May 10, 1969.
The Executive Committee of the Managing Committee considered the question of term of service on committees and offered in December 1968 a motion to elect members of the Committees on Admissions and Fellowships, Publications and Summer Session for four years with re-election possible. When this was proposed on May 10, 1969 the Managing Committee voted to table the motion and to appoint an ad hoc committee to consider the whole question of terms for all committees. The report of this Committee proposed amendments to the Regulations which were passed on May 9, 1970. The chief changes were: 1) at least one representative from each Cooperating Institution must be in active status at that institution; 2) No. 3 above; 3) voting on matters of substance shall be by Institution; matters of substance, as defined by the Chairman of the Managing Committee, shall be voted upon only after written notice given at least three weeks in advance of the meeting; 4) election to the Committee on Publications shall be for a term of seven years, to the Committees on Admissions and Fellowships, Gennadius Library, and Summer Session for a term of four years; 5) salaried officers and members of the staff of the School will normally retire at the age of 65 and must retire at the age of 68. The implementation of these rules required that incumbent members would leave committees, one or two a year; the Executive Committee was to decide who rotated off upon advice from the chairman of the committee and the Personnel Committee. At this 1970 meeting two ad hoc committees were appointed, one to choose a new Director when James McCredie’s term expired at the end of his three-year term in 1972, the other to find a new Editor to succeed Lucy Shoe Meritt in 1972 (see below, p. 115).
A year later there was still dissatisfaction in some quarters, and another ad hoc committee was appointed to review once more problems of some of the committees. As a result of this committee’s proposals another set of Amendments to the Regulations was voted approval on May 13, 1972. These were far more revolutionary in terms of the regulations of the preceding 90 years and changed the character and methods of operation of the committees of the School very markedly. It is still too soon to measure their over-all effect on the operation of the School in Athens, but already some of the committees have been pleading for more experience as they handle the ever more complex and demanding problems of an institution now (1980) in dire financial straits and faced with drastic cutting of activities. The main changes were: 1) the addition to the Standing Committees of the School of a Committee on Committees: six members charged with nominating annually at least three candidates for the two vacancies to occur on the Executive Committee and candidates for spaces on the Personnel, Publications, Admissions and Fellowships, Gennadius Library, and Summer Session Committees. Such nominations together with any made by petition of ten or more members of the Managing Committee were to be mailed to the Managing Committee in advance of the Annual Meeting at which voting takes place. 2) Personnel Committee to consist of five members to serve five-year terms; Publications Committee: five members for five-year terms plus the Editor of Publications not eligible to be chairman; Committees on Admissions and Fellowships, Gennadius Library, and Summer Session: not less than three members for terms of four years. 3) Personnel Committee to make recommendations to the Executive Committee for School’s officers, members of Managing Committee, and all positions, representatives, and committees except for the Standing Committees. 4) No person shall serve as a voting member of more than one Standing Committee at a time, nor be eligible to serve again on the same Committee for at least one year after expiration of a term of office; no Cooperating Institution shall have more than one representative on any one Standing Committee at a time.
In May 1973 it was voted that the Committee on Committees should thereafter nominate more than one candidate for each committee post so that there would be a real choice for the Managing Committee when it votes for committee members. Geography and the practical aspects of traveling to attend meetings remained, as they always had been, very significant factors in deciding who could be active on those committees which must do their work when gathered together in a meeting. To help this situation which for many years had been a cause of concern to some members, the Executive Committee in 1973 agreed to reimburse, upon request, a committee member for transportation and one night in a minimally priced hotel for meetings of the Gennadeion, Executive, Publications and Personnel Committees other than those at Christmas. When it is recalled that the School was already in financial difficulties when this heavy addition to the budget was approved, the determination of the Managing Committee was clear not to allow distance to prevent members from serving on committees. At each meeting of the Managing Committee thereafter all members of the Managing Committee were requested to acquaint the Committee on Committees with their suggestions for nominations for the following year including an indication of which committees they themselves would like to serve. So strong was the feeling of some members that an ever wider and wider group of people should serve on the School’s Committees that there were suggestions of electing persons who were not even members of the Managing Committee. This extreme was, however, voted down by the Managing Committee in May 1975.
In May 1974 after various discussions in the meeting it was voted to appoint an ad hoc commitee to review appointment procedures and educational policies generally. This Committee’s report was presented in May 1976.
In the midst of all this agitation and discussion and action about the Regulations as they concern Committees of the Managing Committee, the committees went about their business as best they could. The Committee on Admissions and Fellowships was chaired until 1966 by Carl A. Roebuck who was succeeded by Mabel L. Lang, 1966–1972, and Malcolm McGregor, 1972–1975. In some of these years there were not as many applicants as in the year 1969-70 when 19 first-year students were admitted, raising the number from the previous 16 close to the limit (20) that was felt by Director and Committee might be satisfactorily accommodated. But in other years highly qualified students had to be refused admission. In 1974-75 the number who wrote fellowship examinations shot up to 32. The Committee had as much if not more business with associate members. In some years there were excellent fellowship candidates, and when the accumulation of funds permitted, an additional fellowship was awarded. In some cases when there were more qualified applicants for regular membership than the 20, applicants who were put on the waiting list transferred to associate membership and attended in that capacity. Two new fellowships were founded in these years. Funds for one in memory of George Henry McFadden and named for him were given, and it was awarded from 1969-70 through 1976-77. In 1974-75 the funds for the Jacob Hirsch Fellowship (see below, p. 118) became available. The terms specify a student from the United States or Israel (see below, p. 134). The chief problem of policy in these years was the eligibility for a fellowship of a student who is a graduate or graduate student of a Cooperating Institution but is not a citizen of the United States or Canada. Such students were eligible for consideration for membership, but the Regulations had restricted fellowships to U.S. or Canadian citizens.
Richard Stillwell who had served as Chairman of the Personnel Committee since 1957 retired in May 1968 and was succeeded by Lloyd Daly who continued, until the change in Regulations in 1972, to serve the Managing Committee with his two colleagues on the Personnel Committee as all former chairmen had done. The Committee was responsible for knowing the personnel of the Managing Committee well so that it could nominate all members of committees except themselves, all new members of the Managing Committee, and all officers of the School (including the Visiting Professors since 1961 when the Chairman turned this over to the Committee). It had, however, been customary to appoint an ad hoc committee of which the Personnel Committee were members to select a new Chairman of the Managing Committee, sometimes also for a new Director, so that a wider knowledge of possible candidates could be drawn upon for the nomination. These were heavy responsibilities calling for much consultation, much consideration of duties and personalities and abilities, much wisdom and courage, to which experience lent perspective and understanding, above all a deep devotion to the School’s best interests as their first priority. It is fitting that tribute should be paid here to those who had served as Chairmen of the Personnel Committee as constituted by amendment to the Regulations in May 1925. At first the Chairman of the Managing Committee served as Chairman of the Personnel Committee and he appointed the other two members. Beginning in 1932 the Chairman was elected by the Managing Committee and re-elected each year. Charles Burton Gulick served from 1932 to 1946, William T. Semple 1946 to 1948, Benjamin D. Meritt 1948 to 1957, Richard Stillwell 1957 to 1968, Lloyd W. Daly 1968 to 1972.
The new Regulation passed in 1972 continued to have a committee called Committee on Personnel, but its duties now were limited to the nomination of new members of the Managing Committee, School officers (with some exceptions), Auxiliary Fund Directors and representatives on the Alumni Council; the number of members on the Committee was raised to five, each to serve for five years, one member elected each year. Chairmen served one, two or three years: Evelyn B. Harrison 1972-73, Michael H. Jameson 1973–1975, Frederick E. Winter 1975–1977, William P. Donovan 1977–1980.
Of the Special Committees, the one to find a new Director to succeed Henry S. Robinson nominated James Robert McCredie who was elected on May 13, 1967 to a three-year term beginning July 1, 1969, and after another committee had deliberated, on December 28, 1970 he was re-elected for a five-year term beginning July 1, 1972. The special committee appointed to nominate a new Editor of Publications to succeed Lucy Shoe Meritt nominated Marian Holland McAllister on May 8, 1971, and she was elected to a five-year term beginning October 1, 1972.
When Eugene Vanderpool retired as Professor of Archaeology on June 30, 1971 (see above, pp. 105-106), C. W. J. Eliot was nominated by the Personnel Committee and appointed to the post for a five-year term beginning August 1, 1971. When consideration of reappointment was undertaken by the Personnel Committee in 1974, a second five-year term was not recommended, and the Managing Committee voted on December 28, 1974 that a three-year term, not renewable, be offered Professor Eliot. It was further voted that in future the Professorship of Archaeology be a three-year term not renewable.
The successor to Richard Howland as Chairman of the Managing Committee was nominated by the Personnel Committee and elected by the Managing Committee on May 10, 1975 to serve from July 1, 1975 for a term of five years, namely, Mabel Louise Lang of Bryn Mawr College.
The new Committee on Committees created by the 1972 Regulations (above, p. 112) plus the shorter terms of office of each committee member changed radically the character of the committees Not only was there a constant turnover by the rotating off and on of members each year and the shorter terms altogether, but that nominations were made by an even more changing committee has meant that service on the committees was shared by a very large number of the Managing Committee, coming on with little or no knowledge of the committee’s work, leaving just as they begin to understand it, but having gained for themselves at least a valuable insight into the School’s problems and mode of operation.
The Board of Trustees also saw changes in its officers and its members in these years in which it had momentous decisions to reach and an ever more serious and then critical financial condition to face. The officers elected on November 18, 1963 continued unchanged until December 11, 1969, and the Committees remained essentially the same with a few additions. In 1968 Homer A. Thompson was added to the Board when he retired as Field Director of the Agora Excavations, and in 1969 three more new members were elected: Thomas A. Pappas in May and John Dane, Jr. and Robert McCabe in December. At that December meeting Ward Canaday and Fred Crawford were re-elected as Chairman and President, but William Kelly Simpson became Vice President and the office of Secretary-Treasurer which John J. McCloy had held since 1955 was divided; McCloy continued as Treasurer but the Assistant Treasurer Harry M. Lyter became Secretary. Two years later Lucius D. Clay and Elizabeth Whitehead were added to the Board, and at the November 12, 1971 meeting the By-Laws were amended to extend the term of office for all officers from one to three years. Ward Canaday who had been a member since 1937 and had led and directed the Board for so long (since 1949) asked to be relieved of the active chairmanship and was made Honorary Chairman while Fred Crawford moved up to the Chairmanship, William Kelly Simpson became President, and Nathanael V. Davis Vice President, all elected for three years along with the same Secretary and Treasurer. It was a deep loss when Secretary Harry Lyter died on May 15, 1973, for he had taken a most active and positive interest in the School’s affairs and had contributed valuable understanding and vision. John Dane, Jr. succeeded him as Secretary on May 23, 1973. On November 26, 1974 Crawford was re-elected Chairman for three years, Nathanael V. Davis and Robert McCabe Vice Presidents, John Dane Clerk (formerly called Secretary), John J. McCloy Treasurer, but Simpson as President for one year only. A year later (November 17, 1975) he had moved up to Chairman and Elizabeth Whitehead became President, both three-year terms (see below, p. 136). Charles Fleisch-mann had joined the Board in 1973. In 1975, then, the Board which for many years had consisted of members of many years standing had only five of its 17 members of more than 15 years service, nine of ten years or less. At the December 8, 1970 meeting Ward Canaday’s 85th and Fred Crawford’s 80th birthdays had been honored by the presentation to them of silver trays.
There were innovations in the meetings of this decade. A special invitation was sent to Spyridon Marinatos, Director of Antiquities of the Greek Government, to attend the meeting of December 9, 1968. This was accepted, and Professor Marinatos spoke warmly of the place in the thought of the Greek Government occupied by the School and its personnel and pledged that it was committed to work with the School in the further excavation of the Athenian Agora. At that meeting the Trustees voted “to advance $5,000 from the Loeb Fund surplus to the Greek Government who will pay the balance needed to repair the Hephaisteion in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Homer A. Thompson who for so long have been influential in Greek archaeology and have both been particularly concerned with this temple in the Athenian Agora.” Both Mr. and Mrs. Thompson were at the meeting and were honored with farewell gifts; Homer Thompson had retired on December 31, 1967 as Field Director of the Athenian Agora Excavations.
The need for additional room for the Gennadius Library had been growing for some years, and the Trustees had been urged to consider raising funds to build an addition to the existing building, the idea being that they might be able to interest in this aspect of the School’s activities donors who were not sufficiently interested in the School’s main purpose to support the sorely needed general endowment. It was agreed, therefore, that for the first time in the history of the School the Trustees would meet in Athens in May 1969 and look over all the School’s property and activities but especially the future of the Agora excavation and the Gennadeion’s needs. From May 14 to 17 the Trustees visited all the School facilities and at their official meeting voted that the Finance Committee should find the means of raising $300,000 for the projected new wing for the Gennadeion. This was confirmed at the December 1969 meeting, to be done before undertaking the $1,000,000 General Endowment Drive, and the $128,000 final gift of the Rockefeller Brothers was allocated to the Gennadeion wing. By May 1970 the funds had reached $251,252, and so the Trustees instructed the Chairman of the Managing Committee to proceed; in December 1970 the Board approved construction of the two wings as approved by the Fine Arts Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Public Works of the Greek Government. The wings were dedicated at the second meeting of the Board held in Athens on May 19, 1972 when the chief concern before them was the disposition of the Blegen House. As noted above (p. 108) it was at this meeting that the decision to sell the house was taken.
Several gifts of this period should be noted. In 1966 Trustee Henry Mercer resigned and made a gift of $20,000, $15,000 of which went to Corinth for land purchases and $5,000 to the Gennadeion. Maureen Dallas Watkins left the School an estate from which $157,600 was received in 1973; it was added to the Special Purpose Fund; a previous $12,566 from the estate went to the Gennadeion wings. The $75,000 from Dr. Jacob Hirsch’s estate was, by the terms of the gift, used for a new fellowship (see above, p. 114). The Merrill Foundation contributed $25,000 to the Gennadeion Endowment Fund in 1971 and $15,000 to publications in 1972. Margaret Crosby’s $10,000 bequest was allocated to the General Endowment in 1973, Gisela Richter’s $5,000 in 1974, and an anonymous $33,000 was contributed for the new Corinth living quarters after the 1973 fire. In spite of these, mostly special purpose gifts, the general financial situation continued to worsen; in November 1973 it was noted that for the preceding two years about $40,000 in each year had had to be taken from the principal of general funds; clearly this could not continue. At that meeting the completion of the sale of the Blegen House was announced; $900,000 was the price less the $9,000 commission. The income from this extra endowment just about balanced the budget that year, but inflation caused costs to continue to rise. At its May 24, 1974 meeting the Board requested the Managing Committee to consider the entire question of tuition with particular emphasis on the desirability of charging tuition to students coming from the Cooperating Institutions; it further voted that the annual contribution for Cooperating Institutions which had remained $250 since 1882 be increased to $300 beginning July 1, 1974 (see above, p. 89).
The raising of funds was proving so difficult that not only the general endowment failed to be augmented. Even the Agora excavation, which had previously attracted support at times when the general work of the School had not, could not raise the matching funds needed to accept offers from the Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities for large gifts to allow the excavation to continue. Reluctantly but realistically the Trustees declined these grants in November 1974, with regret that unavailability at that time of the land for substantial further excavations plus the serious economic situation made the action necessary (see below, p. 200).
At the same meeting the Trustees made a decision designed to assure the School a headquarters in the United States. For many years the Chairman of the Managing Committee had been acutely conscious that the School had no place of its own where records could be stored and that the Publications Office was housed at the Institute for Advanced Study subject to the courtesy of its administration and might need to find other quarters if this host needed the space. The Chairman had been trying various possibilities of joining with comparable non-profit educational organizations in sharing quarters, but all would have required more funds than the School had available. At the May 1974 meeting an offer had come from Miss Clara Woolie Mayer to give the Trustees her home at 41 East 72nd Street, New York City, together with a $50,000 endowment for at least part of its upkeep. A committee was appointed to look into all aspects of the results of accepting the offer, and in November the Board gratefully accepted the Mayer House and its land and endowment; a further sum of $50,000 for endowment of the House had been received meanwhile from an anonymous donor. The understanding was that the property might be sold if a tax-exempt status could not be secured or if another charitable or educational organization could not be found to rent the part of the House not needed by the School. The tax-exempt status was obtained, and the Trustees took possession of the House. It now serves as a meeting place for the Trustees and the Managing Committee and their smaller sub-committees, as headquarters of the Trustees, as repository for records of both Trustees and Managing Committee, for duplicates of vital records of the School kept in Athens, and for duplicates of excavation records. It has not been necessary as yet (1980) to move the Publications Office. The Trustees maintain the House and arrange for its resident caretakers and secretary. Income and expense are kept in balance, and no charges are made for it in the budget of the School.
Richard Howland had the fortune to preside over the Managing Committee through one of the most difficult decades of its history. He brought to the challenge first of all a deep devotion to the School and a willingness to give of his time and energy unstintingly. He kept in close face-to-face touch with the School and its personnel in Greece by frequent visits and often joined them in conferences with Greek archaeological authorities. In the United States he struggled valiantly to give everyone associated with the School in any way a voice in its affairs; he was the impartial chairman who heard all petitions and who gradually, as legislation changed regulations, had to adjust to a situation in which Committees took over more and more of the responsibilities for action which had previously always been shouldered by the Chairman. Such a transition is not easy for anyone under any circumstances. That it took place without more disruption than did occur is a high tribute to Howland’s conciliatory powers and his widespread sympathy for all concerned. He was a tireless worker for many of the particular needs of the School. Especially of concern to him was provision for a permanent headquarters of the School in the United States; he played a significant role in the acquisition of Mayer House for that purpose. Like his predecessors he recognized clearly the financial situation of the School and kept it firmly before the Trustees.