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In Memory... a Letter from the ARNOVA President

Posted By Fatima Hussain, Thursday, July 23, 2015
Updated: Monday, August 17, 2015



Dear ARNOVA Members,

This has been a difficult year for our association. In recent months, we have lost two pillars in our field. Peter Dobkin Hall was a long-time ARNOVA member and helped build our field through his work on the history of philanthropy and other topics. Woods Bowman was also a long-standing member of our association who worked in the fields of nonprofit finance and nonprofit governance, among others. Both men served unselfishly in leadership roles in ARNOVA. Their long service to our association and our field will be greatly missed. Moreover, both men were more than professional colleagues to many in the field and had become close friends. We will miss their friendship as much as their professional contributions.

Since the passing of first Peter and now Woods, the ARNOVA board of directors has been reflecting on the right way to remember and honor these two friends. There have been many suggestions and conversations that have helped us think through this important but difficult task. While there is no perfect way to honor the memories of Peter and Woods, we have decided to organize these opportunities for reflection and remembrance at the upcoming ARNOVA conference in Chicago in November:

On Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 8 pm, we will have a room available for us to gather before the conference starts and share our memories of our two friends. We will be sending out a note in coming months with more details for people who would like to speak or to simply share some remembrances without speaking. (Edit: please click the link to share thoughts, memories, photos and more.)

On Friday afternoon, November 20, 2015, we will be hosting four “mini-plenaries” at our conference. This is a new feature of our conference that adds to the opening and closing plenaries. Two of the mini-plenaries will be dedicated to the fields that Peter and Woods were passionate about – the history of philanthropy and nonprofit finance.

We know that individuals and institutions are undertaking other initiatives at the ARNOVA conference and elsewhere to honor Peter and Woods. Some have suggested establishing new endowed research prizes in the areas of nonprofit history and nonprofit finance or endowing existing awards and/or scholarships in honor of Peter and Woods. We invite anyone interested in taking the lead in raising funds for such initiatives to let us know, and we will assist in this process. Please also feel free to be in touch with Shariq Siddiqui, ARNOVA’s executive director (, or me ( with other ideas or with an expression of your interest in helping with one of the initiatives described above.

We look forward to working with you as we share our grief and remember and honor our friends.


Alan Abramson
President, ARNOVA

Tags:  Peter Dobkin Hall  Woods Bowman 

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