Fred Simoons’s Legacy gift to Anthropology Excellence Fund supports array of activities

Fred Simoons.

The Department of Anthropology is ever grateful for the generosity shown by our alumni and friends, particularly the late Frederick J. Simoons, PhD, a renowned cultural geographer and adjunct research associate with the department from 2000 to 2007. Professor Simoons passed away last summer, just short of his 100th birthday. Through his gracious legacy gift of $10,000 to the Anthropology Excellence Fund, he continues to make a positive impact on the department’s teaching, research, and programs.

“Gifts to the Excellence Fund are especially important to our work, largely because the fund provides considerable flexibility for us to invest in a diverse suite of activities that directly benefit our students and faculty,” said Andrew Duff, department chair.

For example, Excellence funds supported a recent collaboration with the Anthropology Graduate Organization to host a panel of cultural resource management (CRM) professionals. The panelists spoke with undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty about employment opportunities in CRM and what qualifications and skills employers are currently seeking.

The Excellence Fund also supports activities and regular meetings of the undergraduate Anthropology Club and enables bringing guest speakers to campus to present talks about their research and to share their experience in meetings with students and faculty.

Excellence funds also assist faculty and students with research expenses, such as laboratory equipment purchases or costs for radiocarbon dating archaeological samples as part of degree projects.

“These are just some of the many ways we have put Excellence funds to use recently, and we greatly appreciate the generosity of all those who contribute,” Duff said.

Simoons taught at the University of California-Davis from 1968 to 1989. His pioneering work on animal-food avoidances resulted in the classic and widely translated Eat Not This Flesh (1961; reprinted 1981). In it, he stressed ritual and other non-economical motives for domestication and animal keeping, contrary to economic-adaptationist ideas of the day. Learn more about him.

If you would like to give to the Anthropology Excellence Fund, please visit our secure giving page or contact the College of Arts and Sciences Development team at 509-335-1096 or