On Friday November 22nd, 2013 Albright Trustees and Fellows, ASOR members, colleagues and friends gathered for a “Toast and Roast Celebration” in honor of retiring Albright Director Sy Gitin. The event was held in the Liberty Ballroom of the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel, filled to capacity by a very enthusiastic audience.
Invited “roasters” were Sidnie Crawford, Susan Ackerman, Dan Wolk and Joe Seger who read his poem “The Life of Sy”, as well as Bill Dever and Norma Dever. Barry Gittlen, Steve Ortiz and Mark Smith gave a combined Power Point presentation and John Spencer presented Sy with the mock-up for the cover for the second Gitin Festschrift Material Culture Matters: Essays on the Archaeology of the Southern Levant in Honor of Seymour Gitin. Several people from the audience also took part spontaneously, among them Larry Herr, Claire Pfann, Louise Hitchcock, Mary Ellen Lane, Stuart Swiny, Herschel Shanks, and Annie Caubet. Talya Gitin, Sy’s daughter, was most entertaining, sharing “deep, dark” family secrets.
Sy, seated next to his wife Cherie, was obviously enjoying the roasting and toasting. He was most gracious in his response.
The event was organized by Lydie Shufro and funded by private contributions. Mark Smith and Lydie Shufro coordinated the two-hour long program.