Alumni CLASnotes Spring 2005

Donor Spotlight

Scholarships Established in Memory of Former UF Students

David “Davy” Robert Ferguson
The family of former UF student David “Davy” Robert Ferguson, has established a scholarship in his memory. Ferguson died in October 2004 before the UF-Georgia football game in Jacksonville, Florida.

The David Robert Ferguson Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to an undergraduate psychology student, with preference to out-of-state students. Ferguson, a UF sophomore, was a psychology major.

Donations for the scholarship have poured in since its creation in November. Ferguson’s parents, David and Christina, sought to raise $20,000 in four years for the endowment. They exceeded that goal in less than four months. Gifts from Ferguson’s family and friends, as well as businesses and fellow UF students, comprise the merit-based award. Visit for more information.

We are not fund-raisers by nature,” says David’s father. “I believe that the success in raising money is a testament to Davy, and the impact he had on so many people during his short life.”


David “Davy” Robert Ferguson

Carrie Lynn Yoder
A scholarship fund has been established in memory of UF graduate Carrie Lynn Yoder, who died in 2003. Yoder, who earned her bachelor’s degree in botany from UF in 1997, was a graduate student at Louisiana State University when she was abducted from her home and murdered by a serial killer who had a 20-year history of domestic violence and battery toward women.

The Carrie Lynn Yoder Scholarship at UF will be awarded to a graduate student in a biology-related field focusing on coastal ecology. A similar fund has been set up at LSU, and an upcoming golf tournament will benefit these scholarships as well as the Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center in Pasco County, Florida. The tournament will be held on April 11 at 1 pm at the Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club in Dade City, Florida.
Yoder had lived in Tampa since 1983, and was a 1994 graduate of Chamberlain High School. After graduating with honors from UF, she worked for PBS&J, an engineering and architecture firm in Orlando, before earning her MS in biology from the University of Central Florida. In the fall of 2000, she became a PhD student in the biological sciences department at LSU. Her research focused on the effects of hurricanes, fires and flooding on coastal wetland plant life. Yoder had completed all requirements for her PhD except her dissertation research. Her goal was to become a college professor.

Please visit for more information.

Carrie Lynn Yoder

Support for PoliSci
State Representative Larry Cretul (right) recently presented Political Science Professor Stephen Craig (left) with a $5,000 check to support UF’s political campaigning graduate program. Cretul, a Republican who represents portions of Alachua, Levy and Marion counties, made the donation from his surplus campaign funds since he ran unopposed during the fall election.

Craig directs UF’s graduate program in political campaigning, which offers a master’s degree in political science and a certificate in political campaigning. Students learn skills relevant to a wide variety of political roles, including public office, opinion polling, lobbying, grassroots mobilization and international consulting. It is one of the only programs of its kind in the country.

(Left to right) Ronald Jaszczak, Aase Duelund Thompson, Fredric Chaiken, Bruce Stone, S. Richard Turner, Richard Witmer and Wallace Prophet attended the 2004 Outstanding Alumni Awards Brunch.

Donor Honor Roll Now Online
To recognize the many individuals and corporations giving their financial support to the University of Florida in the past year, please visit UF’s annual honor roll of donors at We are pleased to recognize the many friends who supported CLAS and UF during the past fiscal year from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004.

Donation Supports Historic Restoration
The Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, Inc. has given a generous donation in support of the renovation of Newell Hall. The college is raising funds to restore the 96-year-old building to its original beauty, while transforming it into a state-of-the-art learning facility to house the new UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere. Built in 1909, Newell is one of the oldest permanent buildings on campus and is listed on the national historic registry. Its renovation would complete the college’s goal of restoring the university’s historic center.

“Jerome Yavitz was one of my dear friends who passed away a few years ago and he entrusted me with his foundation,” says Miami Beach attorney Stephen H. Cypen, president of the Yavitz foundation and a 1965 CLAS alumnus (BA, English literature). “He was an industrialist and a renaissance person, and this is just the sort of project that would have interested him.”

Newell Hall will become an intellectual hub for historians, writers, philosophers and scholars, and will host seminars and classes as well as public outreach events and lectures. It also will house departments and centers intimately linked to the humanities, such as African studies and philosophy, which are all currently cramped for space.

At varying gift levels there is an opportunity for donors to have a room named for them in the new facility. A seminar room will be named in honor of Jerome Yavitz. For more information on how you can get involved, contact Cynthia Butler, CLAS senior director of development, at or (352) 846-3447.

Artist’s rendering of
Artist’s rendering of renovated Newell Hall.

Archeologists Receive Grant for Peruvian Excavations
Discovering why an ancient Andean empire would adopt the supreme deity of its greatest rival is what an archeology team comprised of UF professors and alumni is hoping to accomplish through a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant. UF anthropology professors Mike Moseley and Susan deFrance, along with anthropology graduates Ryan Williams (PhD, 1997) and Donna Nash (PhD, 2002), have been excavating the ancient city of Cerro Baúl in southern Peru, and hope to raise $25,000 by May, so they can continue their research this summer. The NEH will match every dollar they raise. Ultimately, they hope to raise $53,500 in private donations.

“Although a wide buffer zone typically separated the two groups, the Wari and Tiwanaku shared the same deity,” explains Moseley, the interim chair of the anthropology department. “It was known as the “Gateway God” among the Tiwanaku. However, each nation interpreted and depicted the ideology and iconography in distinct ways. The god was celestial among the Tiwanaku, with winged angels with staffs appearing on each side. The Wari often added maize plants to the god’s costume, creating an agricultural association.”

Moseley says how the two great nations came to share the same supreme deity has long been debated in the humanities. The Wari occupied Cerro Baúl from about 550 to 1050, disappearing for reasons not fully understood before the ascension of the Incan empire in about 1300. The researchers have been exploring Cerro Baúl since about 1993, and in 2003, they identified “ritual libation halls” where Wari noblemen apparently feasted and drank. The area contained drinking mugs depicting the Gateway God, and Moseley says the halls were a place where politics were negotiated and economic decisions were made. They expanded their investigation in an attempt to locate a brewery—finding the first remnants of the site in July 2004. The site is at least 1,000 years old and was capable of churning out hundreds of gallons of beer.

The difficulty of brewing large quantities of beer high atop a sheer-sided mesa underscores the religious and ceremonial importance of Cerro Baúl, says Williams, a courtesy assistant professor at UF and an assistant curator of anthropology at the Field Museum. “All food and water—everything—had to be brought up from below. That’s thousands of liters a day being brought up on people’s backs,” Williams explains, adding that the Wari considered the mountains the sacred link between Earth and heaven.

One of the most remarkable elements of the site is that the Wari apparently destroyed the facility in a ritual closing rite, burning the structure and throwing their mugs into the embers. The archeologists’ findings also include decorative copper plaques, small boxes containing mineral pigments possibly used for cosmetics, and numerous beads. The team believes another brewery might exist and plans to continue excavating the area for at least another two summers. They hope to set up a traveling exhibit of the artifacts they find that would tour Peru and the US before making its permanent home at a museum in Moquegua, Peru, near the Cerro Baúl site.

Visit for more information about the dig. If you would like to donate to the project, please contact the CLAS Development Office at or (352) 392-5471.

—Allyson A. Beutke

Excavations have unearthed drinking mugs depicting the Gateway God.

Donate to Maturo Excellence Fund by March 15
Zoology Professor Emeritus Frank Maturo dedicated nearly his entire career to the University of Florida. He filled many roles during his 44 years of service, including directing the Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory (see page 5) and acting as advisor to Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. In honor of his commitment to the university and his retirement in 2003, the Frank Maturo Excellence Fund was established to support scholarships and fellowships in the Department of Zoology. The fund also will aid the Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory, located off the coast of Cedar Key, Florida, which serves as a research and education station to UF and other universities. Through the financial support and personal involvement of alumni and friends, the fund is currently valued at approximately $87,000, only $13,000 short of its March 15 goal of $100,000 to become eligible for a 50 percent match by the state. For information on how to contribute, please contact Mary Matlock, CLAS associate director of development, at mmatlock@ or (352) 392-5412.

CLAS Term Professors
The college has selected its 2005 CLAS Term Professors, recognizing three faculty members who excel in teaching, research and service. Funded entirely by private donors, the number of term professors and the amount of the award varies from year to year. This year, each will receive a one-time $6,000 salary supplement and an additional $3,000 for their research.

Richard FoltzRichard Foltz
Waldo Neikirk Term Professor
Richard Foltz is an associate professor of religion, with teaching and research interests in the history of religion and nature. He came to UF in 2000 after teaching at Columbia and Brown Universities and Gettysburg College and earning his PhD from Harvard in 1996.

Foltz has authored three historical books, including Spirituality in the Land of the Noble and Religions of the Silk Road. He also has edited Worldviews, Religion and the Environment, and he translated Conversations with Emperor Jahangir, a 17th-century travelogue of India. Foltz has published numerous scholarly essays on topics ranging from world environmental history to animals in religion. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, and was instrumental in helping establish UF’s PhD program in religion in 2003.


Douglas LeveyDouglas Levey
Jean and Robin Gibson Term Professor
Douglas Levey is a professor of zoology who has taught at UF since 1988. His research interests include tropical ecology and seed dispersal. He earned his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1986, and also has taught at Brown University and in Costa Rica as part of the Organization for Tropical Studies’ graduate program.

Levey is studying the effectiveness of habitat corridors in conserving plants and animals in fragmented landscapes, and also is exploring the ecology of chili peppers, addressing the question of why they are hot. He teaches Avian Biology and a graduate seminar associated with the Science Partners in Inquiry-based Collaborative Education (SPICE) program, which places UF graduate students in Gainesville middle schools with large populations of disadvantaged youth to foster their interest in science and engineering.


Alex PiqueroAlex Piquero
Mitchell Magid Term Professor
Alex Piquero, a professor of criminology, came to UF in 2001. He completed his PhD in 1996 at the University of Maryland, College Park, and served on the faculties of Temple and Northeastern Universities.

Piquero is finishing a book that will be published later this year, titled Offending Over the Life Courses: The South London Males at Age 40. He also is working on a longitudinal study which examines how serious juvenile offenders transition out of crime in late adolescence and early adulthood. He serves on the editorial boards of 10 journals, and at UF he teaches Doctoral Methods, Life-Course Criminology and Criminological Theory.


New Initiative Aims to Raise $150 Million for Faculty Support
UF President Bernie Machen has announced a plan designed to increase the number of faculty and bolster faculty salaries and research dollars. The UF Faculty Challenge aims to raise $150 million to meet the demands of educating Florida’s growing population and make UF one of the nation’s premier research universities.

“In order for the University of Florida to reach its potential, we must find ways to do a better job supporting our faculty,” Machen says. “The purpose of this initiative is to build an endowment to provide for competitive salaries, so the university can attract and retain the best and brightest faculty and give them the tools they need to excel.”

Your gift can enhance the learning experiences of thousands of students each year by bringing the latest discoveries into the classroom and helping find answers to problems facing people around the globe. Private gifts will be used to create endowments for professorships, fellowships, lectureships and provide funding for research and graduate students.

Gifts to the challenge of $100,000 or more may be eligible for state matching funds. In an effort to garner more support, for every gift of $1 million or more, Machen has pledged to add $250,000 specifically for the Faculty Challenge from a discretionary fund of private donations. Gifts of more than $2 million are matched dollar-for-dollar. For more information, please visit or call (352) 392-1691.

Courtesy the Ferguson Family (David Ferguson)
Courtesy the Yoder Family (Carrie Lynn Yoder)
Courtesy University of Florida Foundation (Cretul)
Courtesy Contisuyu Program (Peruvian Cup)
All Others Jane Dominguez

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Friday, 13-Aug-2010 14:22:21 EDT