(Victor Valley)– – Mike Swank, an alumnus of Cal State San Bernardino’s anthropology program, recently made a gift commitment of $188,900 to support students majoring in anthropology to participate in summer fieldwork, including archaeological field schools.
Swank, who lives in Palm Desert, made the first installment of his commitment during a visit to campus on Feb. 21.
In honor of the contribution, The Mike Swank Fieldwork Scholarship Endowment has been established with the CSUSB Philanthropic Foundation. The fund will generate scholarships to support student fieldwork in perpetuity.
During a conversation with university President Albert Karnig about the gift, Swank said, “I was lucky, and I am happy to help students explore their career opportunities.”
The gift is significant especially for students who are the first in their families to attend college, said Peter Robertshaw, chair of the anthropology department.
“We have now over 100 anthropology majors, many of them first-generation college students from families of limited means,” Robertshaw said. “Giving these students the opportunity to travel, to interact with students and people of other cultures and to learn firsthand the techniques of archaeology and anthropology is of inestimable value in terms of both their personal and professional development.”
Jamal Nassar, dean of the CSUSB College of Social and Behavioral Sciences where the anthropology department is housed, thanked Swank for his generosity. “This is a wonderful gift that will benefit our students for generations to come.”
Swank had made previous contributions to The Archaeology and Anthropology Fieldwork Expendable Scholarship Fund in the past, but chose to remain anonymous.
In 2011, four students attended field schools with support from this scholarship fund.
One student, who worked on a “mega-osteology” project on Neolithic human skeletal remains in Portugal, wrote, “The program helped me explore an interest of mine that I know for certain I want to study for my career.”
Another student, a military veteran who plans a career in southwestern archaeology and who participated in a field school at Mimbres in New Mexico, wrote, “This (experience) would not have been possible were it not for the CSUSB Department of Anthropology Summer Fieldwork Scholarship and I am very grateful for the assistance in the education needed for my future career.”
For more information on giving to the programs of CSUSB’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, contact the college’s director of development, Enrique Gonzalez-Salgado, at (909) 537-7363 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.