LC State Campus

News Release

Retired LCSC Anthropology Professor Alan Marshall to be honored by Idaho Humanities Council

The Idaho Humanities Council will honor retired Lewis-Clark State College Anthropology Professor Alan Marshall, of Lewiston, by presenting him with IHC's award for "Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities" at a wine/dessert reception and ceremony on Thursday, March 21, 7 p.m., at Lewiston's Red Lion Hotel. The award, which carries a $1,000 honorarium, will be presented to Marshall for his exemplary career as a teacher, scholar, and mentor to many interested in exploring cultural anthropology and Native American studies. For many years, he made extraordinary efforts to reach off-campus to promote greater awareness, appreciation, and understanding of Nez Perce culture. The ceremony is open to the public.
At the March 21 award presentation, several of Marshall's friends and colleagues will speak to the appropriateness of him receiving the award. After several testimonials, Marshall will deliver a talk about his life's work in the humanities.
"Alan Marshall has established strong and trusting relationships with the Nez Perce over several decades of teaching and research at Lewis-Clark State College," said IHC Chair Katherine Aiken, Dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences at the University of Idaho. "His work is inspiring, and his legacy is a program that promotes cross-cultural understanding and the preservation of the Nez Perce language."
After earning his Ph.D. in anthropology from Washington State University in 1977, Marshall began his career at LCSC a year later, teaching courses and building relationships with Nez Perce tribal historians, elders, and other leaders to better interpret tribal culture and history. Over thirty years, he taught hundreds of students, but he also committed himself to quiet, unheralded work interpreting treaties with the Nez Perce regarding hunting, fishing, and water rights, for federal, state, and local agencies.
Most significant is his role, in collaboration with Nez Perce tribal elders, in bringing Nez Perce language instruction to LCSC. As one colleague remarked, while few schools teach Native languages-and most that do offer languages for which there is a considerable body of written material-Marshall and the elders persevered. Today, LCSC students may take Nez Perce to satisfy the general language requirement. Students may even earn a minor in Nez Perce.
As part of his consulting work, Marshall has written several major reports that detail the Nez Perce tribe's conception of and interaction with the environment. Through his work Marshall has served as an informed source and cultural guide through traditional Nez Perce ways.
"Alan’s work has been exemplary and is worthy of recognition," said colleague Christopher Riggs, LCSC professor of history and a member of the Idaho Humanities Council. "His commitment is passionate and his work in the field has benefited tribal culture and the academic professions of teaching and research."
Now retired, Marshall continues his research and work with the Nez Perce. The Idaho Humanities Council expects many LCSC colleagues, Nez Perce friends, and former students to attend the ceremony.
The Idaho Humanities Council is a statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting greater public understanding of literature, history, ethics, law, and other humanities disciplines. The Council has presented its award for "Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities" annually since 1986. Previous recipients of the award have included State Historian Keith Petersen, Twin Falls anthropologist James Woods, former Governor Robert E. Smylie, College of Idaho Professor Louie Attebery, State Historian Merle Wells, Constitutional scholar David Adler, Moscow writer Mary Clearman Blew, Idaho poet William Studebaker, historian Arthur Hart, Nez Perce elder Horace Axtell, former Lewis-Clark State College English Professor Keith Browning, Idaho State University History Professor Ron Hatzenbuehler, Basque Museum and Cultural Center Director Patty Miller, North Idaho College English Professor Virginia Johnson, and others.
For more information, contact the Idaho Humanities Council at (208)345-5346.
Note: this news release was generated by the Idaho Humanities Council