John H. D’Arms became President of the American Council of Learned Societies on September 1, 1997. D’Arms strengthened ACLS and multiplied several-fold the support it provided to the humanities and social sciences. He oversaw a $3-million, 5-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to initiate The History E-Book Project.   

Prior to his appointment at the ACLS, he was at the University of Michigan, Professor of Classical Studies and Professor of History (1972-1997), Chairman of the Department of Classical Studies (1972-1977; 1980-1985), Dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies (1985-1995), and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (1990-1995). From 1977 to 1980, he was Director of the American Academy in Rome and the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in its School of Classical Studies. His scholarly work focused on the history and archaeology of ancient Rome and the Bay of Naples, especially social, economic, and cultural history. His publications include Romans on the Bay of Naples (Harvard, 1970) and Commerce and Social Standing in Ancient Rome (Harvard, 1981). During his years at ACLS, John was also Adjunct Professor of History and Classics at Columbia University. 

Throughout his career, D’Arms served many leading organizations in the humanities. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the ACLS, Trustee of the National Humanities Center, Trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study, Trustee Emeritus of the American Academy in Rome, and member of the national committee for Mellon Fellowships in the Humanities. President Clinton appointed him to membership on the National Council for the Humanities in 1994, a position from which he resigned upon assuming the ACLS presidency. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992 and of the American Philosophical Society in 1998. He held a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1975-1976, when he was a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study. D’Arms received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1956 and spent the next three years at New College, Oxford, as a Keasbey Scholar, receiving, in 1959, a BA degree. He earned his PhD in classical philology from Harvard in 1965. 

John H. D’Arms: His Achievements, Our Future Course

ACLS Occasional Paper #53 presents speeches honoring the work and legacy of John H. D’Arms, who died January 22, 2002.

Contribute to the John H. D’Arms Fund

Your gift will support the ACLS Fellowship Program and initiatives identified with his leadership in the humanities.