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Two Professors Win Rome Prize

Contact: Jess Goode, (740) 593-1043; Lynne Lancaster, (740) 597-2102; Mark Halliday, (740) 593-2758.

ATHENS, Ohio (April 27, 2001) -- Two Ohio University professors, a poet and an archaeologist, have each won a Rome Prize, which provides fellowships for American artists and scholars to live and work at the American Academy in Rome's 12-building, 11-acre site atop the Janiculum hill in Rome, Italy.

Founded in 1894 and chartered by an Act of Congress in 1905, the academy is the oldest American overseas center for independent study, advanced research and creative work in both the arts and the humanities. More than 1,500 people have received the Rome Prize in its 105-year history, including former poet laureate and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Brodsky and composer Aaron Copeland.

"Most universities would be thrilled to have just one Rome Prize winner, but to have two recipients in the same year is a very high honor," said Ohio University President Robert Glidden.

Ohio University, the University of Virginia and the University of California were the only institutions in the nation to have more than one among this year's winners. Other winners this year include scholars from Yale, Oxford and Johns Hopkins University.

Lynne Lancaster, an archaeologist in the Classics Department and Mark Halliday, a poet and English professor, were officially honored on Thursday, April 19. The awards were announced in the New York Times on Friday, April 20.

"I'm delighted to have won the Rome Prize," said Lancaster. "In my field of classical archaeology it is an award with roots going back to the late 19th century. Also there is a history of women studying construction techniques at the Academy so I feel that I am carrying on their tradition."

Lancaster said she will spend her time in Rome working on a book that focuses on the materials and building techniques used to construct large concrete vaulted monuments during the Imperial period, such as the Colosseum, Trajan's Markets and the Pantheon.

Halliday plans to use his time in Rome working on his fourth book of poems, which will center on issues of individual identity and personality.

A select number of applicants are chosen each year based on demonstrated artistic excellence, past achievements and future potential.

This year, 28 Rome Prizes were awarded by the academy in the fields of architecture, design, historic preservation and conservation, landscape architecture, literature, musical composition, visual arts, archaeology, classical studies, history of art, modern Italian studies and post-classical humanistic studies.

Lancaster holds a doctorate in classical archaeology from Oxford University. Halliday holds a doctorate in English literature from Brandeis University.

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