Prof. John D’Arms new president of American Council of Learned Societies

February 24, 1997

ANN ARBOR—John H. D’Arms, the Gerald F. Else Professor of Humanities and professor of classical studies and of history at the University of Michigan, will serve as president of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS).

The U-M Regents, at their Feb. 20-21 meeting, granted him a two-year leave, Sept. 1, 1997-Aug. 31, 1999, for this service.

“The ACLS is the preeminent private humanities organization in the United States,” said Edie N. Goldenberg, dean of the U-M College of Literature, Science and the Arts. “A non-profit organization, founded in 1919, it is a federation of 58 national learned societies in the humanities and social sciences.

“The purpose of the Council is ‘the advancement of humanistic studies in all fields of learning in the humanities and social sciences and the maintenance and strengthening of relations among national societies devoted to such studies.’

“Prof. D’Arms’ distinguished career in classical scholarship and leadership of our own Rackham School of Graduate Studies have well prepared him for this position and in taking it he will both make a contribution to the current situation of the humanities and social sciences in America and bring positive recognition to the U-M.”

U-M President Lee C. Bollinger said, “In selecting John D’Arms to serve as president of the ACLS, this prestigious organization taps the expertise of one of Michigan’s most distinguished faculty members and respected leaders. As a friend of John’s for many years, I am delighted to join his colleagues in Ann Arbor and around the country in congratulating him on this high honor. We all wish him the best as he uses this opportunity to continue his exceptional work on behalf of the humanities and the social sciences.”

Sheldon Hackney, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, said, “John D’Arms is one of those wise figures to whom we all turn instinctively for advice. His broad experience in the world of scholarship and teaching, and in the institutional settings that make scholarship and teaching possible, have prepared him well for the national leadership that we have come to expect from the president of the ACLS. I am absolutely delighted by the appointment.”

A U-M faculty member since 1965, D’Arms served as chair of the Department of Classical Studies for nine years, and was named the Gerald F. Else Professor in 1983. He received Michigan’s Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in 1982 and was also named professor of history in 1986.

D’Arms was appointed as dean of the graduate school in 1985 and he also served as U-M vice provost for academic affairs in 1990-95.

In 1977-80, he was director of the American Academy in Rome composers and humanistic scholars, chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1911) and the A.W. Mellon Professor in its School of Classical Studies.

D’Arms’ scholarly work focuses on aspects of ancient Roman cities, culture and society.

D’Arms has been a spokesman for the humanities at a national level, as a former member of the Board of Directors of the ACLS, trustee of the National Humanities Center, trustee emeritus of the American Academy in Rome, and member of the national Committee for Mellon Fellowships in the Humanities. President Clinton appointed D’Arms to the National Council for the Humanities in 1994.

D’Arms received his Ph.D. in classical philology from Harvard University in 1959.

American Council of Learned SocietiesDepartment of Classical StudiesAmerican Academy in Rome