Table of contents:
Submitted by Alden Smith
4 January 2007
I. Status Rerum Vergilianarum
Today I present you with an update of the status societatis that I presented also at the November meeting. In all ways, save financial, we have had a good year. Let me detail the positive. As most of us already know about this from the executive meeting in Waco, Phil Stanley and George Perko will soon present us later with the financial picture from 2006 which is somewhere between bleak and gloomy. Suffice it to say for the moment that we have had two financially tough years since the catastrophe of 2004, and that 2004 itself and the year preceding it were not positive financial years, either. We have not yet turned the negative cash flow around, and we are in a situation now with at the most two years of financial solvency. In short, we are dangerously near financial challenges from which there can be no recovery. All this is not meant to panic anyone or to send our constituency on a collective guilt trip. You have been loyal, generous, and supportive beyond what anyone could have asked or imagined through these financially troubled years. You have saved the society from spiritual and psychological collapse. You have promoted the healing of a deeply divided society, and we have moved past the old rifts that divided us. Now we must come together to face this financial challenge or, in two to three years, we shall no longer exist. What can we do?
First, we must face the fact that we may need to raise dues and villa rates, because there is not enough money to pay our bills.
More importantly, we must reinvigorate and restock the tours. You must encourage your friends, family, and each other participate in the tours. Simply put, if we could get greater tour participation even a mere 20% more participationâ€"we would break even annually; if we can get better participation than that, we will start to turn the record of several years of financial losses around.
How can we move in this direction? Tomorrow, I will call upon our membership to pledge to carry out the following:
I CALL UPON THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHERS TO TAKE ON THE CHALLENGE OF LEADERSHIP IN THE SOCIETY, TO DIRECT TOURS, AND ESPECIALLY TO RECRUIT FOR OUR TOURS
I CALL UPON ALL OF MY FELLOW VERGILIANS TO HELP TO PROMOTE AND TO MARKET OUR TOURS
I CALL FOR NEW AND JAZZY TOUR PROPOSALS; OFFERING TOPICS BOTH SCHOLARLY AND SAVVY (HOW ABOUT SOMETHING CATCHY LIKE "SEX, LIES, AND VIDEO RES," "SIGHT, SENSUALITY AND SUBTERFUGE IN ANCIENT ROME," OR "VIVAT LAS VEGAS: BAIAE, BATHING AND BETTING THEN AND NOW?"
I also would request that some new leaders to step forward to help to implement some of our proposed new initiatives, which include.
Updates and Gratias
In closing I would like to offer some updates and thanks.
And, like last year, again I want to offer publicly gratias magnas to our tireless team. We owe each of you so very much!
Change in VS officers
Earlier this year, several officers found it necessary to resign because of increased teaching demands and/or increased family responsibilities. These officers were Alden Smith, President; Peter Knox, President-Elect; Holly Lorencz, Secretary; and Gareth Williams, Trustee at Large. The members of VS wish to express their gratitude to these individuals for their service in the past several years and wish them well in the future.
In accordance with the bylaws, the Nominating Committee submitted names to Board of Trustees for their approval. The individuals proposed were approved by the Board and the new officers are:
Since two of the newly appointed officers were already Trustees at Large, it was necessary to appoint three new Trustees at Large. The new Trustees are:
Chair Villa Management
Acting-Chair Nominating Committee
Candidates for VS offices
Amendment to bylaws
This amendment to the current bylaws does not substantively change the operation of the Vergilian Society; it does, however, bring the Society into conformity with the requirements of the
IRS regarding 501 (c) (3) corporations of which VS is one. In a document issued by the IRS it is stated:
"The IRS requires that a club have the IRS non-profit 501(c)(3) language in its bylaws. If the required language is not in your club's bylaws, your club must comply with the
IRS requirement by revising your bylaws to include the following language."
Members on the next ballot will be asked to approve this wording to be added to the current bylaws.
Addition at bottom of Article II: Purpose:
"The Vergilian Society is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code."
Additional section G to end of Article IV: Administration:
"No part of the net earnings of the Vergilian Society shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributed to, its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Vergilian Society shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purpose set forth in the purpose clause hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the Vergilian Society shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Vergilian Society shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the Vergilian Society shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of future federal tax code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Upon the dissolution of the Vergilian Society, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the Vergilian Society is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
Because of increased expenses for the operations of the Vergilian Society, members were asked to approve a dues increase which would go into effect for the fiscal year October 1, 2007
to September 30, 2008. The members voted for a $10 dollar increase which has now been put into effect on the current application form.
We thank all of the members for their support of the Vergilian Society and for their continued support of the Society in the future.
Financial Report for Year Ended September 30, 2006
Enclosed please find the financial statements for the Vergilian Society for the year ended September 30, 2006. The Society conducted many programs but faced continued challenges on the economic front.
STATEMENT OF REVENUES & EXPENSES
The Society's Unrestricted Fund (equivalent to its net worth) is only $51,510 at Sept. 30, 2006. $51,510 divided by $16,900 = 3.05 years. This means that in only a little over 3 years, the Unrestricted Fund net worth will be exhausted. Since $17,500 of this net worth would be consumed by severance payments to employees, effectively, only two years of operations remain. None of the repair costs for the villa have been included in this calculation. The Society's general endowment funds are restricted from use for current operations; they are held in trust to sponsor scholarships or provide for a permanent home for the Society. The villa repair funds are held to repair the Villa Vergiliana for long-term usage, but the Society currently does not have a long-term lease on the villa.
Vergilian Society tours, other than the Cumae III program which has the required participation of Fulbright students, continue to struggle. Cumae I and the poets program would have generated net losses if bus services had not been shared with the Cumae II program. If one program director had not generously waived charging the Society for her airfare, tour net profit would have been roughly $1,500 less.
3) Villa rentals' general:
Expenses at the villa are all recorded in euros, while most revenues are received in U.S. dollars. The euro's value has increased to roughly 130% of the U.S. dollar, which has severely increased the true cost of operations in Italy.
2) Villa repair cost estimates:
Unrestricted current assets:
Total assets 138,749
Cumulative translation adjustments 5,675
Total liabilities and fund balances $138,749
Ancient Greeks and Romans on the Bay of Naples and Sicily. July 7-19, 2008
John Wonder. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gladiators and Roman Spectacle: Rome, Pompeii, Cumae and Beyond.
July 18-30, 2008. Steve Tuck email: email@example.com
In the Footsteps of Poets and Painters, Proletarians and Princes:
Rediscovering the Bay of Naples in Greek and Roman Times. August 4-17,
2008. Anne and Steven Ostrow email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next year's symposium (2008) will take place on Wed., June 18 through Sat., June 21.
The topic will be:
The Call for Papers will be going out soon. If people are interested, they should contact Pat Johnston at email@example.com.
Call for tour directors for 2009
The Vergilian Society invites applications for the direction of classical summer programs for 2009. We are particularly interested in innovative and exploratory programs at different levels, wholly or partially held at the Villa Vergiliana, but will also consider other classical locations. Tours involving Campania are particularly sought after for 2009 as well as those with an emphasis on Etruria. The Secretary will supply prospective directors with details regarding compensation, minimal enrollments, and shared direction. Applications must reach, President-Elect, Steve Tuck, by September 25, 2007, and should include a curriculum vitae, an overview and rationale for the proposal which supplies details on the applicant's experience, projected costs, and a day-by-day syllabus/itinerary. Programs are typically 12 days long, but 8 to 15 day programs are possible. Please include the widest possible range of dates; in the past, programs have been offered in July or the first half of August.
Applications may be sent by surface mail, e-mail, or fax to