The Board of Trustees, staff, and friends of the American Academy in Rome mourn the passing of Michael I. Sovern. A noted legal scholar in labor relations and employment discrimination, he was the seventeenth president of Columbia University. Prior to his death, Sovern was the Chancellor Kent Professor of Law at Columbia Law School.
An active and vibrant member of the Academy community, Sovern served on the Academy’s Board of Trustees from 1993 to 2009, including as chair (1994–2005). He also served on the Executive, Investment, and Finance Committees. Among his many honors, Sovern was awarded the Centennial Medal in 2006 and was named chair emeritus in April 2010. The Michael I. Sovern / Columbia University Affiliated Fellowship, awarded by the provost of Columbia University, was established by the Trustees of the American Academy in Rome and the Friends of Columbia University in Michael’s honor, to support a member of the Columbia community in residence at the Academy.