As John Soderberg, Director of the Evolutionary Anthropology lab, showed me around their lab space, I couldn’t help but contemplate going back to school for a degree in anthropology. There were fascinating objects such as giraffe bones, stone tools, chimpanzee teeth, and fossil casts. I looked through drawers full of comparative anatomical materials that are used by students each semester in the Human Evolution class—which enrolled nearly one thousand students this past year!
On display in the hall were artifacts collected from the Elliot Park dig. I recently drove through that Minneapolis neighborhood. I saw new condo buildings and coffee shops and restaurants I’d like to try—but I also felt proud knowing that our anthropology department gave faculty, students, and community members the opportunity to explore and participate in preserving that community’s history.
A few weeks later, I was immediately engaged at the first annual Daphne Berdahl Memorial Lecture. Following the program, I talked with faculty, students, friends, alumni, and Daphne’s family at the reception. All of these people came together and helped form a fellowship in memory of Professor Berdahl that will support countless anthropology Ph.D. students in social and cultural anthropology.
All of this is just scratching the surface of what is taking place in the Department of Anthropology. However, this caliber of teaching, learning, and research cannot exist without your help. There are many opportunities for giving to the department. Right now the greatest need is student support—graduate student fellowships and undergraduate student scholarships not only allow students to focus on their research and schoolwork, but they also provide encouragement and build confidence. Your support allows the department to recruit and keep the very best students.
If you would like to leave your own legacy or if you are interested in learning more about scholarships and fellowships at the U, please contact me. All endowment gifts of $25,000 or more are still eligible for either the 21st Century Fellowship Match or the President’s Scholarship Match. Your gift would be doubled through either of these programs. You can also make a gift online at http://anthropology.umn.edu/giving/. Please join us in making a difference.
Associate Development Officer