After holding prominent national and University positions in the humanities, John Haughton D”Arms died at the age of 67 of brain cancer yesterday in New York City.
D”Arms served as president of the American Council of Learned Societies, a scholarly organization dedicated to the advancement of the study of humanities.
A leader in the academic community, D”Arms had led the effort to strengthen the ACLS” fellowship program for scholars of all levels.
Colleagues remember him as a leader and spokesman in the field of humanities.
“He was a very remarkable leader,” said Patricia Spacks, an English professor at the University of Virginia who worked with D”Arms as the chairman of the board of the ACLS.
D”Arms had been fighting brain cancer and had brain surgery last fall.
Despite his illness, D”Arms attended the October 2001 board meeting of the ACLS with his head half-shaved from the surgery.
“Aside from the way his head looked, there was no way to tell that anything was wrong,” said Spacks. “He was as lively and astute as ever right to the end.”
Prior to serving as the president of the ACLS, D”Arms served as a faculty member and administrator at the University for 32 years.
D”Arms held many positions at the University, including professor of classical studies, chair of the department of classical studies, dean of Rackham Graduate School, professor of history and Else professor of the humanities.
D”Arms also served as vice provost for academic affairs from 1990 to 1995.
D”Arms was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the council of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
He also served as director of the American Academy in Rome while acting as a professor at the Academy from 1977 to 1980.
When D”Arms was selected in 1997 as president of the ACLS, he told The Michigan Daily it was difficult to leave.
“Psychologically, it”s hard for me to leave U of M,” D”Arms said. “I”m devoted to this University and I love it here.”
In his lifetime, D”Arms had published two books on ancient Rome and over 60 scholarly reviews and articles. D”Arms wed Maria Teresa Waugh, daughter of novelist Evelyn Waugh, in 1961 in Somerset, England.
D”Arms is survived by his son Justin, daughter Helena and two grandchildren.
D”Arms received his Ph.D. in classical philology from Harvard University in 1959.