The University Record, January 28, 2002


John H. D’Arms

John Haughton D’Arms, former dean of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, died Jan. 22 in New York City at the age of 67. D’Arms was a faculty member and administrator at U-M for 32 years. D’Arms had a long-standing affiliation with the American Academy in Rome and in 1977, on leave from Michigan, became for three years the resident director of the Academy and the A.W. Mellon professor in its School of Classical Studies.

Since 1997, D’Arms served as president of the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), a non-profit federation of 64 national scholarly organizations, where he led the effort to strengthen and expand the ACLS fellowship program for scholars at all levels. D’Arms, himself, was an ACLS fellow 1971–72. In 1994, President Clinton appointed D’Arms to the Council of the National Endowment of the Humanities.

As a classicist, D’Arms was most interested in Roman social, cultural and economic history. He was the author of two books, “Romans on the Bay of Naples” (1970) and “Commerce and Social Standing in Ancient Rome” (1981), both published by Harvard University Press, as well as more than 60 scholarly articles and reviews. At his death he was working on a study of the social and cultural conventions surrounding food and drink in Roman society.

At his death, D’Arms was a trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the Polish-American Freedom Foundation and the Modern Language Association. He was a member of the American Philosophical Society and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992. Among many other positions held during his career, he had been a trustee and a distinguished visitor at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, N.C., a trustee of Princeton University, a John Simon Guggenheim fellow and a Fulbright fellow.

D’Arms was an accomplished jazz pianist and for many years played with a Dixieland group in Ann Arbor, the Olivia Street Stompers.

In addition to his wife, Theresa, he is survived by a son, Justin, and a daughter, Helena, both of Columbus, Ohio; 2 grandchildren; and 2 brothers, Ted of Seattle, Wash., and Phillip of Manlius, N.Y.