Jude Thomas May
Society for Applied Anthropology
We initiated and completed several major development projects during 2011, including the Gil Kushner Student Travel Award, the Michael Kearney Memorial Lecture, the Human Rights Defender Award, and the establishment of an endowment fund (“The Founders”). I will include below a brief description of each.
The project to establish the Gil Kushner Student Travel Award was initiated last June by friends and family members. A target endowment of $25,000 was defined and we began to accept contributions in the late summer. By the end of December, the contributions had exceeded $21,000. We are now accepting applications from students for the first Kushner Travel grants (two at $500 each) to the Baltimore Meetings. We expect that the endowment goal will be achieved by the coming summer.
The plan to develop a memorial to honor the memory of the late Michael Kearney was formulated in the fall of 2010. A committee composed largely of his colleagues and former students developed a plan to sponsor a special lecture dealing with migration and human rights. The lecture would be held each year at the SfAA annual meeting. The First Michael Kearney Memorial Lecture will be held in Baltimore (Thursday, March 29); the invited speaker is Prof. Gaspar Rivera-Salgado. The session will also include Profs. Lynn Stephens and Aida Hernandez Castillo. The Kearney Memorial Committee has set a goal of $25,000,and fully 65% has been reached.
The Human Rights Defender Travel Award was initiated by member Michael Cavendish, an attorney with a strong interest in and commitment to this field. The plan for the Award was developed in the fall of 2010 and the first travel grant was presented in 2011 to Marne Thompson, a doctor student at the University of Colorado (www.sfaa.net, click on “awards” and go to “Human Rights Defender”). The plan calls for an endowment of $12,000, which would support through earned interest a $500 travel scholarship each year.
The Kushner and Human Rights Defender awards bring to a total of ten the number of travel scholarships that are available each year for student members who are presenting a paper or poster at the annual meeting.
There have been other important development achievements during the past year. For example, the Society received a contribution of $7,000 from an anonymous donor for the Peter K. New Student Research Award. That fund now exceeds $150,000 and the cash award for the first place winner has been raised to $2,000. In addition, we continue to receive contributions for projects which have already been established and funded. These contributions will be accumulated, permitting us to increase the size of the travel awards at some future date.
The Society was also the beneficiary in 2011 of a gift from long-time member, Prof. Valene Smith. This contribution ($6,800 in 2012 and $12,000 in 2013) will support a two-year project to expand the interest in tourism research. A special issue of Practicing Anthropology (#3, July, 2012) will include articles reporting on new research on tourism. In addition, a special international symposium will be held on tourism research in conjunction with the 73rd Annual Meeting in Denver in 2013.
Finally, the Board of Directors authorized the first step in the development of an endowment for the Society. A group of fifteen individuals (“The Founders”) met at the Seattle Meeting and pledged to contribute $500 each to establish the SfAA Endowment. Those pledges have been realized and a check for $7,500 has been deposited in a special endowment account. The development of the endowment will be a central part of the long-term plans for the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the SfAA in 2015. Additional information on The Founders and the SfAA Endowment will be distributed in the near future.