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Proceedings Landing Page

 for Short Articles and the History and Proceedings Volumes 1-5

Explore the rich history and ongoing legacy of the Cajal Club with our Short Articles and History and Proceedings section where visitors can explore documents that chart the club's journey over 75 years, and browse through articles recapping recent meetings that correspond with our Index of Photos of Past Meetings page. 

A Brief History of the Cajal Club’s Formal Guidelines 

Larry W. Swanson, Ph.D. 

University Professor 

Department of Biological Sciences 

The University of Southern California



Charles E. Ribak, Ph.D. 

Professor Emeritus 

Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology 

University of California at Irvine

The highlights of Cajal Club activities are amply documented in the Proceedings. However, it is worth reviewing and updating the topic of formal documents that have guided the Club over its first 75 years, bearing in mind that some details have undoubtedly been lost in the mists of history. The following account is what we have been able to piece together in hindsight, and the story is relatively straightforward: the first written guidelines were called the Covenant, and the Bylaws supplemented it in 1985. 


The Covenant 

The first published version of the Covenant appeared in Volume 1 of the Proceedings (1975; pp. 8-10), and the last published version appeared in Volume 3 (pp. 7-9). According to the last paragraph of the Volume 3 version (1985), “The Covenant was approved by the membership at the 1952 Meeting in Providence and was amended in Columbus (1953), New Orleans (1968), Chicago (1970) and in Dallas (1972), Cleveland (1974), Los Angeles (1975), Detroit (1977) and in New Orleans (1981).”


While complete versions of the 1975 and 1985 Covenant may be read on the Club’s website (Proceedings), it is worth repeating the first two articles of the 1985 version here:


FORMATION: The charter meeting of the Cajal Club was held during the 1947 meetings of the American Association of Anatomists in Room 8102 of the Mount Royal Hotel, Montreal, Canada. The following were present at the charter meeting and are designated as the Nucleus of the Club:


Wendell J.S. Krieg, (Nucleolus [President]), E Horne-Craigie (Axone [Honorary Member who had studied with Cajal]), Pinckney J. Harman (Apical Dendrite [Secretary-Treasurer]), Clement A. Fox (Nissl Body [Vice-President and President-elect]), [and 10 others].


AIMS: The purposes of the Cajal Club are: 1) to revere Cajal; 2) to provide an opportunity for congenial scientists with aspecial interest in the nervous system to confraternize annually; 3) to contribute to the welfare of neuroanatomy andneuroanatomists. The Club is conceived as an informal union designed to accomplish with the minimum of administrative andregulative detail the above aims.


Bylaws and the Cajal Club Foundation Corporation:

In 1985, Dr. Wendell Krieg began negotiations to donate substantial funds from the sale of his house (the Nautilus)in Woods Hole, Massachusetts to endow what were to become the annual Krieg Cortical Kudos. The history ofthese donations is recounted by Duane Haines and David Whitlock in Volume 4 of the Proceedings (pp. 19-21).One consequence was the formation of the Cajal Club Foundation Corporation (CCFC), which was chartered byTexas in 1985 (Appendix A) and classified by the IRS under section 501-(c)-3 of the tax code in 1986 (Appendix B).In essence, this allowed Krieg to make tax-free donations to the Cajal Club.


Another consequence of Krieg’s generosity was the drafting of Bylaws for the CCFC. The final version of the Bylaws, withminor penciled in corrections, was dated Nov. 14, 1985, and this 3- page document is reproduced in Appendix C. Kriegspecifically indicated that his donations were to be used to fund awards to scientists who published on the structure andconnections of the cerebral cortex. In addition, these funds were to be used for the dissemination to Anatomy departmentsof Krieg’s books and pamphlets on cerebral cortex. Only the dividends and interest earned by the principal were to be used tofund the Krieg Cortical Kudos and activities related to the cerebral cortex. Pasko Rakic, who is personally familiar with thecortical interests of Krieg, has affirmed at recent Board meetings that Krieg intended his donations to be used in this way.


Naturally, the Bylaws have been amended since 1985, and the latest version (2021), which owes a great deal to theefforts of Gordon Shepherd, is reproduced in Appendix D.


The Cajal Club Endowment Fund

At the suggestion of Deborah Cross—a Board Member representing the Krieg family and the Club’s liaison with its wealthmanagement firm (Romano Wealth Management, Evanston IL)—a Cajal Club Endowment Fund was established in November,2013, and received its first donations from Cajal Club members in March, 2014. This fund is unrestricted and has been used to support the Cajal Club’s activities, including its beautiful website,, newly reimagined by Dawn Hunter. 



We would like to express our sincere appreciation for Deborah Cross who has not only managed the CCFC funds and the Endowment funds but has also provided valuable advice during the 14 years in which these funds were under her management.


Appendices are in the Proceedings, Page 1 of Proceedings

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