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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA alumni couple donate $3 million to the anthropology school

Anthropology graduate students will have more hands-on opportunities at the UA, as two alumni have donated $3 million to support graduate research.

Philip and Kathe Gust delivered a generous gift to the UA School of Anthropology at the 100th anniversary commemoration on Sept. 15. The couple donated $3 million to support graduate students during their research at the school. 

Though both Philip and Kathe did not receive their degree in anthropology, the couple has a broad interest in culture, archaeology and anthropology, making their donation a desire to train future generations of anthropologists. 

The Gusts realized how difficult it is for anthropologists to get hands-on experience. Their gift will provide opportunities for students to have field experience. 

According to the UA News article, the School of Anthropology in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences educates more than 100 graduate students to develop knowledgeable skills that they will apply in their own research for their master’s theses and dissertations. With help from the Gusts, the UA is getting closer to their goal of raising $1.5 billion through the Arizona NOW campaign. The money donated to the schools will be used for specific projects and purposes. 

Claire Barker, an anthropology graduate research associate, said funding for graduate student research has been scarce because of both state and federal budget cuts. Barker had spoken to the Gusts in the Homol’ovi Lab about both past and ongoing research taking place through the Homol’ovi Program and the Rock Art Ranch Field School. 

“This gift provides support for graduate students to conduct field research, which is such a fundamental part of anthropology,” Barker said.

According to the UA News article, Philip Gust earned his Bachelor of Science in mathematics and psychology and his master’s degree in computer science at the UA. 

He taught computer science at the UA in the 1970s, created products for multiple high-tech companies and, more recently, developed digital preservation software at Stanford University, where Kathe Gust is currently an engineering librarian. 

Kathe Gust earned her Bachelor of Arts in speech communications and fine arts and her master’s degree in library science at the UA as well. She has worked in multiple libraries, both academic and public. 

“Anthropology graduate students conduct research all over the globe,” said Jennifer Yamnitz, director of marketing and communications for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “These funds will help cover travel, equipment and other research expenses while they are in the field and the laboratory.”

The Gusts support numerous causes in areas that interest them and said they believe it was a necessary gesture to provide future generations an opportunity to have an in-depth focus on the diverse field of anthropology.

Follow Gabriella Vukelic on Twitter.

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