Anthropology Museum gets a huge gift

Retired prof’s $3 million will upgrade ‘poor stepchild’

The big news out of President Paul Zingg’s annual convocation of Chico State University personnel last Thursday (Aug. 21) was that a retired faculty member had donated a staggering $3 million to benefit the anthropology program and its Museum of Anthropology.

The donor is emerita professor Valene Smith Posey, who taught in the Anthropology Department from 1967 to 1998. She remains plenty active—and lively. When Zingg called on her to stand up to be feted, she bounced to her feet and, waving her arms in the air, did a kind of victory dance.

Afterwards she told the CN&R that she and her husband, George Posey, had made the gift because they wanted to give back to the community and university that had given them so much. Smith Posey, who has been a major supporter of the Museum of Anthropology since its inception in 1971, said the museum is a “poor stepchild” right now and the funds will turn it into something extraordinary.