The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is pleased to announce a new major gift from Diana E. E. and Fred S. Kleiner: the Athenian Agora Courtyard Garden at Loring Hall.
As the 100th Anniversary of the American School excavations in the Athenian Agora approaches in 2031, Diana and Fred Kleiner have chosen to name the courtyard garden in honor of the Agora Excavations and the five scholars who have directed the excavations since their inception in 1931: Theodore Leslie Shear 1931-1945, Homer Armstrong Thompson 1945-1967, Theodore Leslie Shear, Jr. 1967-1994, John McKesson Camp II 1994-2022, and John K. Papadopoulos 2022-present.
The open-air garden sits in the center of the School’s residential complex and is a common meeting place for students and scholars alike.
This is the Kleiners’ second major gift to the Loring Hall complex, following their gift in 2019 of the Diana E. E. and Fred S. Kleiner Saloni. Fred was an Agora Fellow and Diana an Associate Member from 1973 to 1975.
George Orfanakos, Executive Director of the School, praised the Kleiners and remarked, “As professors and alumni/ae from our academic community, Diana and Fred honor the School once again with this second major contribution towards this project. Their generosity enables us to honor the Agora Excavations’ successive field directors and everyone else who has been part of the Agora excavations since 1931.”
Diana and Fred Kleiner at the American School Gala in New York in 2019
ABOUT THE KLEINERS
Diana Kleiner is the Dunham Professor of History of Art and Classics Emerita and former Deputy Provost for the Arts at Yale University, where she was also the founder and director of Open Yale Courses. Her major book publications include Roman Group Portraiture, The Monument of Philopappos in Athens, Roman Funerary Altars with Portraits, Roman Sculpture, Cleopatra and Rome, and Roman Architecture, A Visual Guide.
Fred Kleiner is Professor Emeritus of History of Art & Architecture at Boston University and one of the founders of its Department of Archaeology, as well as former Editor-in-Chief (1985–1998) of the American Journal of Archaeology. He is the author of more than a hundred articles, reviews, and books, including The Early Cistophoric Coinage, The Arch of Nero in Rome, A History of Roman Art (2nd edition 2017), and the 10th through 16th editions of Gardner’s Art through the Ages.
Diana and Fred Kleiner arrived in Athens in July 1973, having lived in Rome for most of the previous two years while conducting research for their doctoral dissertations at Columbia University. Fred was appointed Agora Fellow for 1973–1975, and Diana was an Associate Member of the American School during those two years. Fred was responsible for studying and curating the numismatic finds from four decades of School excavations in the Agora. During his tenure as Agora Fellow, Fred published two Picture Books on the Greek and Roman and Medieval and Modern coins in the Athenian Agora to complement the display of Agora coins he mounted in the Stoa of Attalos. He also published articles on Athenian coinage in Hesperia, the American Numismatic Society’s Museum Notes, Athens Annals of Archaeology, and Archaiologikon Deltion. Soon afterwards, Diana completed her dissertation on Roman group portraits of freedmen. She then undertook, at the invitation of Homer Thompson, the project he had begun with John Travlos to study and publish the Monument of Philopappos in Athens, which resulted in her comprehensive 1983 monograph published by Giorgio Bretschneider in Rome.
“This second major contribution to the Student Center campaign reflects, as did our Saloni gift, our deep gratitude to the School for its support during a seminal time in our academic careers,” said the Kleiners. “We are especially pleased that the Courtyard Garden—the central open-air gathering space of the Loring Hall complex—will bear the name of the Athenian Agora, the central meeting square of ancient Athens. It is additionally gratifying that the dedicatory inscription commemorating the gift will be updated with the names of all future directors of the excavations, making the Athenian Agora Garden a part of the living history of the School.”
Aerial view of the Athenian Agora Courtyard Garden
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
The campaign was launched in October 2018 to raise funds for expanding and renovating the three aging buildings that serve as the intellectual and residential heart of the American School: Loring Hall, the Annex, and West (now McCredie) House. This transformative project has increased housing capacity, reduced energy consumption, added state-of-the-art features and technology, and has brought the buildings up to the latest technical standards—all while preserving the complex's historical appearance. Loring Hall and McCredie House will remain the place where members of the community gather for meals, tea, ouzo hour, holiday celebrations, and lectures—a source of lifelong professional and personal relationships that characterize the collegial and intellectually vibrant atmosphere of the School. This modernized setting continues to enhance that experience and is meeting the needs of the School community well into the future.
The goal of the Student Center campaign is $9.5 million, inclusive of a maintenance endowment. Thanks to the generous support of Diana and Fred Kleiner as well as other dedicated contributors, we now have $1.25 million left to raise. A ceremony to mark the renovated and expanded Loring Hall & McCredie House took place on June 4, 2022.
SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN
To learn more about how you can support this historic initiative, please contact Nancy Savaides, Director of Stewardship and Engagement, at email@example.com or 609-454-6810. Naming opportunities for a variety of spaces are still available. Donors can choose from a wide range of gift levels to name a room or area in honor of themselves, an American School scholar, a family member, friend, or group.