AAA President Virginia Dominguez presented the 2010 Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology to Ralph Bolton. President Dominguez said, in presenting the award to Dr. Bolton, a professor at Pomona College for the last four decades, that “he has made exceptional contributions to anthropology with respect to the breadth of scientific knowledge that goes beyond traditional anthropology. In addition to his record of teaching and research he has made substantial contributions to the anthropological community and to the public. Bolton is recognized for his detailed ethnographic research with a strong emphasis on cross-cultural comparisons. He blends traditional qualitative participant observation techniques with sophisticated quantitative methodologies that elucidate his findings. Ralph Bolton is a generous collegial collaborator and draws on wide variety of ethnographic settings using a variety of theoretical perspectives and diverse methodologies.
For the last four decades, Ralph Bolton has served on a number of American Anthropological Association committees, foundation boards, and other institutional committees and task forces. He has further devoted enormous amounts of time and personal resources to serve the profession as an officer in multiple sister organizations such as the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA), the Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA), the Association for Political & Legal Anthropology (APLA), the Society for Psychological Anthropology (SPA), the Society for Cross-Cultural Research (SCCR), and the Southwestern Anthropological Association (SWAA). He was a founding member of the Society for Anthropological Sciences and served on the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences’ (IUAES) Commission on Folk Law & Legal Pluralism (charter member), and more recently he co-chaired the Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists (SOLGA), as well as the AIDS & Anthropology Research Group (AARG). In addition, Ralph has served on the editorial boards of Medical Anthropology, Aggressive Behavior, AIDS & Anthropology Bulletin and Cross Cultural Research. Ralph Bolton received the AAA’s Stirling Award in Culture and Personality Studies twice, the HRAF’s C.S. Ford Award for Cross-Cultural Research, and the AIDS & Anthropology Research Group’s Distinguished Service Award.
Bolton is involved with numerous philanthropic activities such as The Chijnaya Foundation, a non-profit, private organization that he founded. This philanthropic foundation is dedicated to benefiting people in rural Peruvian communities, particularly in educational and technological projects. He has raised over a
-quarter million dollars for it. His philanthropy reflects his commitment to applied and practical anthropology. Bolton’s involvement reflects a commitment to human and civil rights advocacy that includes ethnic minorities and immigrants in the United States, Peru and Western Europe, for gays & lesbians, and for HIV-positive individuals and AIDS patients, locally, nationally and internationally.
Bolton and his partner, Robert Frost, received the Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1999 and from the State of New Mexico the following year for restoring the Witter Bynner Estate. He has also cooperated with the local schools as part of his own personal local civic involvement. He generously hosts private mini-conferences there on topics of his interests (at no cost to participating scholars from the humanities, to the biological and social sciences).”