Gift Opportunities

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Graduate Fellowships and Field Work

Competition to recruit the best graduate students grows fiercer every year. An endowed gift of $1 million may generate $50,000 annually — enough to provide a full fellowship to a promising graduate student. An endowed gift of $250,000 provides annual funding for up to 5 graduate students to do field research each summer. Many of our graduate students have benefitted from generous donations like these.

Michigan Anthropology Alumni Graduate Fellowship for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Through the extraordinary generosity of a bequest from the Robert H. Thomas Trust, the department announces the creation of the Michigan Anthropology Alumni Graduate Fellowship for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. We have not yet been able to determine the precise spark that motivates this generous gift to the department. We nevertheless take it as our charge to responsibly use this gift for the future benefit of our department's teaching and contributions to the discipline.

Mr. Thomas's generosity will allow us, through subsequent donations from throughout the Michigan community, alumni and others, to award a graduate fellowship for a meritorious student who has shown exemplary commitment and ability in undergraduate teaching as a Graduate Student Instructor. We hope you will help us build on Mr. Thomas' gift.

Conrad Kottak Fund for Anthropology

We are pleased to announce the “Conrad Kottak Fund for Anthropology.” As department chair for ten years, Conrad often dealt with compelling requests for assistance with graduate and undergraduate events and research trips, interdisciplinary presentations, departmental colloquia, and numerous other vital programmatic activities. A department chair needs the flexibility of having funds available to address the most urgent requests with a minimum of red tape. Recognizing these pressing needs, Conrad himself suggested this purpose when he was approached about how we might use a fund created to honor him for his retirement from the Department as of December 31st, 2010. Thus, the “Conrad Kottak Fund for Anthropology” has been created to provide funding to be used at the chair’s discretion.

C. Loring Brace Endowment for Graduate Student Research in Biological Anthropology

After four decades of dedicated service to the University, C. Loring Brace retired from the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology and Department of Anthropology. His broad yet profound effect on his field was honored in 2006 when Loring was awarded the American Association of Physical Anthropology's most prestigious honor, "The Darwin Award," which he received at the Association's national meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

While at Michigan Loring has been a devoted teacher and mentor, and in honor of his contributions to graduate education at the University of Michigan we hope to establish the “C. Loring Brace Endowment for Graduate Student Research in Biological Anthropology” in the Department of Anthropology. This fund is intended to provide research support for anthropology graduate students. An endowment of $20,000 will enable us to provide two grants per year to worthy students to support original field or laboratory research or make a presentation at a major conference. We hope that you will make this fund a reality through a generous contribution.

Undergraduate Program Enrichment

How wonderful it would be if all students could participate in intellectually rewarding field work, regardless of financial ability. Recent opportunities have included undergraduate field work at the Homol’ovi Ruins State Park in Arizona, led by Dr. Lisa Young. An endowed gift of $300,000, or $15,000 annually, would provide needed funding for undergraduate field work and enrichment activities, like our annual Spring Research Awards, which recently sent Rachel Kamil to Chennai, India where she worked with international eye health organization, Unite for Sight. Using awarded funds from the David and Muriel Derrow and Richard Goodman Fund to help finance her travels, she was able to do research to write her senior honors thesis on eye health in Southern India.

Chair’s Discretionary Fund

The Chair’s Discretionary Fund supports vitally important activities such as student awards, guest lectures, receptions, student travel to professional meetings, student and faculty mini-grants, conferences, and other events that maintain our thriving Michigan Anthropology community.

For a complete listing of our current needs, please see Anthropology: Making the Difference. If you would like to help, please call 734.764.2319 or 734.647.4509, or visit "How to Donate".
Thank you!

*Gifts to endowment funds will be administered as a permanent endowment under MI law and then existing University policies.