James R. Wiseman— 1999 Martha and Artemis Joukowsky Distinguished Service Award

Award Citation:

The Martha and Artemis Joukowsky Distinguished Service Award of the Archaeological Institute of America recognizes those volunteers who have furthered the work of the Institute and have improved its effectiveness through their sustained exceptional service. There is no one who meets these criteria better than this year’s recipient, James R. Wiseman.

Jim’s service to the Institute began early in his career when, shortly after his arrival at the University of Texas at Austin, he joined in founding the Central Texas Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. He served from 1962 to 1964 as the society’s first President, and to this day the Central Texas Society continues to thrive.

Following his move to Boston University in 1973, Jim was elected President of the Boston Society, an office that he held from 1979 to 1981. Immediately thereafter, he was elected Vice President of the AIA and served in that position for four years (1981 to 1984). Not one to rest on his laurels, at the same time Jim also took on the challenge of enlarging the role of archaeology at Boston University, founding the Center for Archaeological Studies (1980), the Department of Archaeology (1982), and the Center for Remote Sensing (1985). Through Jim’s efforts Boston University is now recognized worldwide as a leader in innovative archaeological research and education.

During the same period, Jim played a crucial role in the history of the AIA. When he was elected President of the AIA in 1985, the Institute was in dire financial straits. Recognizing that only drastic measures would stem the flow of red ink, Jim instituted a number of cost cutting measures and made the important decision to move the headquarters of the Institute to its current home at Boston University. Through Jim’s efforts, Boston University has become a leading benefactor of the AIA, providing it with office space and other essential services. The restoration of financial viability has meant that the AIA once again can focus on its central mission of providing leadership and education in archaeology.

Jim never lost sight of this mission, even during the difficult years. His conviction that the Institute should provide a forum for dialogue among all archaeologists, not only those in the U.S. and Canada, led to the First Joint Archaeological Congress, which was held in 1989. Co-sponsored by the AIA, the American Philological Association, the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Society for Historical Archaeology, and other archaeological organizations, the broad scope of the program resulted in an attendance of nearly 3,400 individuals, both professional archaeologists and those with an avocational interest in the field.

Since stepping down as president in 1988, Jim has continued to serve the AIA both as a general trustee (1993 to 1998) and currently as a member of the Finance and Professional Responsibilities Committees. His extraordinary dedication to the AIA has been a focal point of his long and distinguished career. In recognition of his extraordinary and long-standing commitment to the AIA and its mission, the Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to present James R. Wiseman with the Martha and Artemis Joukowsky Distinguished Service Award.

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