The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is pleased to announce a major gift from Diana E. E. and Fred S. Kleiner in support of the new Student Center in Athens. The professors named the Diana E. E. and Fred S. Kleiner Saloni, the spacious living room that, more than any other part of the complex, represents the heart of student life. The Saloni is home to tea and ouzo hours, academic lectures and receptions, holiday celebrations, study sessions, and impromptu gatherings.
George Orfanakos, Executive Director of the School, praised the Kleiners and remarked, “As professors and alumni/ae from our academic community, Diana and Fred understand how central the Saloni is to the School’s scholarly and social life. Their leadership and generosity in this campaign will help our campus remain a welcoming and supportive environment that allows students and scholars to thrive. We thank Diana and Fred for their vital philanthropic support.”
Diana and Fred Kleiner on Homer and Dorothy Thompson's terrace in Athens in 1973
About the Kleiners
Diana Kleiner is Dunham Professor of History of Art and Classics and former Deputy Provost for the Arts at Yale University, where she is 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 of History of Art & Architecture and Professor of Archaeology at Boston University and former Editor-in-Chief 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, 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 afterward, 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.
Fred and Diana Kleiner with George Orfanakos in 2019
“When we look back, it is clear to us that the two years we were associated with the American School were among the most meaningful of our long careers, both professionally and personally,” the Kleiners reflected. “The time we spent in Athens allowed us to acquire an intimate knowledge of Greece and its archaeological sites and museums that would have been impossible to achieve through occasional short-term visits. Equally important, being members of the School community enabled us to meet not only the professors, staff, and students who were in Athens but also countless other archaeologists and art historians who passed through the city in the mid-70s. Like us, these academics were at the beginning of their careers and also senior scholars. We are honored that many of those whom we met in Athens have remained lifelong friends. It is no exaggeration to say that our initial conversations with every one of these friends and colleagues took place over tea in the Saloni of Loring Hall, which we have always regarded as the intellectual center of the School.”
The Kleiners added, “When we learned about the Student Center fundraising campaign, we embraced the opportunity to provide for future generations of students a 21st-century successor to the 20th-century Saloni that played such a significant role in our own lives.”
About the Student Center Campaign
The Student Center 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 House. This transformative project will increase housing capacity, reduce energy consumption, add state-of-the-art features and technology, and bring the buildings up to the latest technical standards—all while preserving the complex's historical appearance. The Student Center 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 will enhance that experience and will meet the needs of the School community well into the future.
The goal of the Student Center campaign is $9.4 million, inclusive of a maintenance endowment. Thanks to the generosity of supporters like Diana and Fred Kleiner, $6.6 million has been raised to date. The new Student Center is expected to open in June 2021.
Support the Campaign
To learn more about how you can support this historic initiative, please contact Nancy Savaides, Director of Stewardship and Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-454-6810. Naming opportunities for a variety of spaces in the Student Center 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, or a family member, friend, or group. Please click the links below to view the nameable spaces and options that remain:
Student Center Construction Photo Gallery
Click this link to view more photographs of the work in progress.