Ready to Serve

Digs & Discoveries March 1, 2011

Greetings from the newly elected AIA President

Greetings from the newly elected AIA President

As the newly elected president of the Archaeological Institute of America, it is my great pleasure to pen my first letter to the readers of ARCHAEOLOGY. Over the next four years I will bring you news of the signal initiatives of the AIA, and I will bring to your attention issues and events in the wider world that affect the field and practice of archaeology.

I have been fortunate to have served for the last four years as first vice president under our distinguished departing president C. Brian Rose. These years have provided me with an invaluable apprenticeship and I know that our members and our trustees join me in thanking him for his outstanding and selfless service to the AIA and its core mission of education and outreach.

That mission is one that has sustained me as well in my several decades with the AIA. I have been an officer of two of our distinguished local societies—New York and Philadelphia—I have served as a trustee on the national board, and I have also chaired multiple board committees. A turning point for me occurred when I began speaking to societies as part of the AIA's celebrated Lecture Program and was able to meet society officers and members around the country. Volunteers one and all, they selflessly offer their time, intellectual capital, and financial support to ensure the AIA's success. This spirit of volunteerism is at the core of the AIA and it extends across more than 100 local societies here in the U.S., Canada, and abroad.

I will continue to expand that global reach by forging strong relationships with archaeological groups in other countries. I will work with my colleagues at the AIA so that we may take advantage of new technologies and modes of communication to spread our message to a broader public. And I will work to bring attention to the fact that archaeology as a subject of study is under threat in universities. The AIA must lend its name and resources to ensuring the survival of this discipline—for without it there will be no trained professionals to succeed the present generation and carry on the critical work of excavation and research.

As I begin my term, I know that I will continue to draw inspiration from our members' efforts—even as I deepen my own commitment to our mission.

Elizabeth Bartman is the president of the Archaeological Institute of America.

« President's Letter J/F 2011

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