Professors John Champe, Preston Holder, and E. Mott Davis
The Faculty in the Anthropology Department has no doubt changed throughout the years; however the idea of conducting Anthropology and learning the history of different people has remained. While the faces are different from year to year the desire to learn from and experience other cultures has been something that has followed the department since its inception. As the years pass and the people come and go their contributions to the department will never leave and the spirit of discovery will only continue to grow.
John Champe was an Instructor at the University of Nebraska for many years and in that time did many things. He was for most people the head and/or spokes person for the Anthropology Department at the University in its early years. John Champe became well known in his field through the work he did on sites like Ash Hollow Cave and so became an authority on the topic of Great Plains prehistory and anthropology. Before he came to the University he graduated from Columbia University in 1940. Almost immediately afterwards he began working at the University as an Instructor. John Champe stayed at the University for much of his later years working his way up the chain to eventually become the Chairman of Anthropology in 1953. He remained at the University till his retirement in 1963 at the age of 68 with 23 years of experience at the University.
Preston Holder came to the University in 1958 at the age of 51 by John Champe to become Chair once Champe left. He retired from the position in 1973 after 15 years of leading the department and gaining new staff and teaching new ideas. He had many positions in the department starting at Assoc Professor of Anthropology in 1958 as well was Curator of the Nebraska state Museum. He kept both positions for only a year but in that time made great progress. After that short year he was quickly promoted through the ranks till he became chair.
E. Mott Davis
E. Mott Davis joined the department in 1948 as an Instructor of Anthropology and as Curator of Anthropology at the Museum at the age of 30. He graduated from Harvard twice; once with his B.S. in Anthropology in 1940 and again with his M.A. in Anthropology in 1942. He took his work seriously but knew how to have fun with it at the same time. He was known for being clever with his writing and often jokingly remarked about how boring his life was when asked to recount it.