Shakespeare Association of America

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Dear SAA colleagues and friends,

I write to share the year’s headlines from the Shakespeare Association of America – successes that you, as SAA members, have done so much to advance. Our organization continues to grow, contrary to the dominant trend nationally. So too does our reputation for leading-edge research that spans time, geography and media. SAA members are pushing the boundaries of new modes of intellectual exchange across disciplines in exciting ways. And we are striving to strengthen the sense of belonging for all who join our community. Looking forward, the Trustees will continue to evolve our governance structures to sustain our increasing size and diversity.

I feel a keen sense of the potential and importance of the SAA at this moment in time. Ours is a professional community poised to amplify the value of higher education. We showcase core arts and humanities practices: discovery, evidence-based argument, nuanced analysis, reflection, creative expression and collaboration. The professional community that welcomed me in as a graduate student and that became my intellectual home as a teacher, scholar, and entrepreneur still sustains me as a senior administrator making the case for these essential human capabilities.

Therefore, I ask that you join me in supporting the SAA with your philanthropy this year, as well as your time and talent. Some SAA members may not know that SAA dues and conference registration fees cover some but not all of the SAA’s expenses. That was a surprise to me when I first learned it. Yet every year the generosity of our members ensures that our travel grants provide more graduate student and contingent faculty the means to join us. SAA donors fund dissertation prizes that help our younger colleagues into jobs. And our annual gifts support residential fellowships at the Huntington and the Folger, equalizing access to special collections for colleagues at a wide range of institutions.

Please consider two actions that would advance these important initiatives at the SAA:

  • First, consider making a tax-deductible donation online to support the SAA’s commitments to our intellectual community;
  • Second, please share the fact that you have given with fellow SAA members and encourage them to do so too, at any level that seems appropriate.

I know that many worthy organizations ask this of you. Over the course of my career, I have come to understand my philanthropy as an expression of what I value most and a testament to the importance of the work we do together. Imagine the message we would send nationally, if all academics in the country stepped forward to give – within our means – to the institutions that sustain our mission of teaching, learning, and research.

Now is the time to commit fully to our professional societies. Let’s take the lead with the SAA.


Katherine Rowe signature

Katherine Rowe
2019-2020 President
Shakespeare Association of America