University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Kolb Society Fall Colloquium and Dinner: History

The Kolb Society dinner was first conceived by founder Peter Paanakker, along with Dr. Robert H. Dyson, Jr., and Jerome C. Byrne, Esq., who cemented their plans for the Kolb Foundation at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology with a dinner in 1987. Each year, at the insistence of Peter Paanakker and in memory of the founding dinner of the Kolb Society, the student and faculty fellows, and the directors of the Kolb Foundation meet at the Kolb Society dinner, often held at an upscale Philadelphia restaurant.

In 1988, a group photo commemorated one of the first gatherings of the Kolb Society of Fellows.

Kolb Dinner Group 1988
Kolb Society 1988: (front row, left to right) Director Jerome C. Byrne, Senior Fellows Renata Holod and Eliot Stellar; (second row, left to right) Junior Fellows Lada Onyshkevyeh, Bien Chiang, Matthew Adams, John Lawrence, Senior Fellow Ruben Reina; (back row, left to right) President Robert Dyson, Jr., Junior Fellow Bratislav Pantelic, Director Peter Paanakker, Senior Fellows Bernard Wailes and James Muhly. Junior Fellows John Holloran and Cynthia Robinson are absent.


Senior Fellows in 1988: Eliot Stellar, Ruben Reina, Jim Muhly, Renata Holod, and Bernard Wailes with Robert Dyson, Jr.

The Kolb Society's first senior fellows were appointed in 1986, and included Renata Holod from the Department of the History of Art, Eliot Stellar, a professor in the Department of Anatomy at the Penn School of Medicine, Ruben Reina and Bernard Wailes from the Anthropology Department and Jim Muhly from what was then the Ancient History Graduate Group. Robert Dyson was the initial president of the society and the director of the museum.

Eliot Stellar retired from Penn in 1990, becoming an emeritus professor and fellow. In that same year, Holly Pittman, a professor in the Department of the History of Art was appointed as a Kolb senior fellow.

Dyson and Wailes in 1991
Kolb Dinner 1991: Robert Dyson, Jr., (standing) and Bernard Wailes

Each year the number of Kolb Junior Fellows grew and the tables filled out as the Kolb Society celebrated its annual fall dinner. A tradition evolved where junior fellows would present a synopsis of their research before dinner for their benefactors and the assembled group of fellows. As students graduated and became fellows, they still returned each year to the Kolb dinner.

Group at Table 1992
Kolb Dinner 1992

The first Kolb dinners took place each year at Le Bec Fin in center city Philadelphia.

Kolb Dinner 1992
From left to right: Bernard Wailes, Matt Adams, Jim Muhly, and Richard Zettler

Robert Dyson retired as director of the museum and became an emeritus fellow. Jerry Sabloff took his place as director of the museum and president of the Kolb society.

Jeremy and Holly
Dinner 1995: Jeremy Sabloff, president, and Holly Pittman, senior fellow

Jeremy Sabloff was director of the museum and the Kolb Society president from 1994 until 2004. During his tenure the society expanded and the expectations for the junior fellows evolved.

As long as they were able, Peter Paanakker and Jerome Byrne attended each Kolb dinner. The dinners now attended by Shari Leinwand, who comes from California to visit each year.

At the present time, the Kolb fall colloquium and dinner bring as many Kolb fellows as possible back to the Penn campus and allow for an annual exchange of ideas in the form of papers delivered by the fellows at the colloquium as well as discussion in a less formal setting over dinner.

In recent years, guest speakers have been included in the fall colloquium, which features Kolb fellows and senior scholars. In 2013, the guest speaker at the fall colloquium was Cemal Pulak. He attended the annual dinner, and is pictured here.

Group at 2013 dinner

In 2014, the Kolb dinner was held at one of President Julian Siggers favorite restaurants.

Dinner 2014 Thumbnails
Kolb Dinner 2014

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