Mourning a Great Loss

July 26, 2021
Ann Samuelson Paver

The School of Anthropology began its week with sadness at learning of the loss of friend and colleague Ann Samuelson, who passed away last Thursday afternoon, June 3, 2021. 

Ann retired in August 2020 as the Senior Academic Advisor for the School of Anthropology, American Indian Studies, and Judaic Studies. At that time, she had worked at the University of Arizona for 21 and a half years, with the last 14 of those years in Anthropology. When she began in 2006, Ann served as both the Academic Advisor and Graduate Program Coordinator. She held both positions until 2012 when the position was split and Ann became a full-time Academic Advisor for the School of Anthropology. In 2015, Ann's position was expanded to include Middle Eastern and North African Studies, and shortly thereafter, in her addition to her position with the School, she became the permanent advisor for American Indian Studies and Judaic Studies. In Spring 2020, Ann was recognized with a College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Staff Award as “an exemplar of the cooperative, collaborative, innovative, and dedicated individuals who provide staff support within the College.”

In 2020, on the occasion of her retirement, the School honored Ann with a paver in the Women’s Plaza of Honor; her paver is located just north of the east door of the Haury Building (sqare paver near the bottom of the photo below), so whenever we pass that way we will be reminded of her dual passions for anthropology and advocacy on behalf of students. On her webpage for the Women’s Plaza of Honor, Ann described the evolution of her dedication to education and anthropology. 

Following the announcement of Ann’s passing, internal messages among the School’s faculty, students, and staff were full of encomiums. School Director, Dr. Diane Austin, began her message with “gratitude for all she gave us.” Faculty members especially noted her devotion to and advocacy for the School’s undergraduate students, with one commenting, “She gave our students and our program the very best of her years and was a wonderful, dear person.” 

There will be a Celebration of Life for Ann in the fall. We will share details here when we have them.

Anthro News Digest date: 06/11/2021