Bill Lipe inspires ‘legacy’ gift

Bill Lipe
Bill Lipe

In 1978 Dr. Bill Lipe, flanked by a handful of WSU graduate students, traveled to Dolores, Colorado, to participate in a major collaborative field-work project with the University of Colorado. For Bill, now WSU professor emeritus in anthropology, the “Dolores Project” marked the start of a lifelong commitment within the southwestern Colorado region.

By the early 1980s, the Dolores Project was winding down. It was then that Bill shifted his focus toward what is now known as Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.

Bill has served various roles at Crow Canyon throughout the years. In 1982 he was on the advisory committee. In the late 1980s he served part-time as the Center’s Director of Research. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees.

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center board member Leslie Masson, along with husband Colin, recently donated $4 million to Crow Canyon Research Institute in honor of Bill Lipe and his life’s work at the Colorado center.

Dr. Lipe was described in a recent Crow Canyon publication as “one of America’s most influential archaeologists and an expert in ancestral Pueblo archaeology of the Four Corners area.” Leslie Masson stated that Bill’s “remarkable influence” inspired the gift.

Since its inception, the 170-acre “living classroom” located in Cortez, Colorado, has served not only to preserve and protect the rich heritage of the ancestral Pueblo Indians of the region but also to teach present and future generations through hands-on archaeological research and experiential education.

The Masson’s gift established two new initiatives: the William D. Lipe Advances in Research Program and the William D. Lipe Research Chair.

With the initial gift of $2 million toward each, these endowments provide an amazing opportunity for advancement of scientific inquiry and learning.

WSU alumnus Kyle Bocinsky was named as the first William D. Lipe Chair in Research, and director of the Research Institute at Crow Canyon. Kyle, who started his new position in August of 2017, said he is “looking forward to developing Research Institute programs that honor Bill Lipe’s legacy to Crow Canyon and the field of archaeology.”

You can support Bill’s legacy at WSU with a gift to the William D. Lipe Visiting Scholar in Archaeological Method and Theory Fund and others at