Yale Celebrates Danforth Gift for Native American Cultural Center

Peter Salovey ’86 Ph.D., dean of Yale College, with Fred Danforth ’73, Alyssa Mt. Pleasant, Native American historian and assistant professor of American Studies, and Shelly Lowe, assistant dean of Yale College

A generous gift from Fred Danforth ’73, P’11 and Carlene B. Larsson P’11, funding a new position at Yale’s Native American Cultural Center, was the focus of a recent celebration.

Shelly Lowe, Assistant Dean of Yale College and Director of the Native American Cultural Center, and Peter Salovey, Dean of Yale College, hosted the open house Monday, October 8. The gift will fund Lowe’s position at the center.

One of the highlights of the reception was a performance by Mystic River Singers, a native drum group, which performed an “honor song” to acknowledge Danforth and Larsson for their generosity. In her remarks, Lowe thanked Danforth, who attended the reception, and a group of Native American students presented him with an Indigenous Peoples’ Day tee shirt, which they had designed.

Dean Salovey noted that the gift marked an important moment for Native American students at Yale, providing them with a distinguished dean to lead and organize their community for the benefit of all students at Yale. He said, “Dean Lowe is recognized around the country for her deep commitment to Native American students and their education.”

Following the event, Danforth expressed his pleasure that students would now have a faculty member devoted to building indigenous cultural awareness in the Yale community. “I will, for a very long time, remember my feeling of pride when the Native singers were performing the honor song,” he said.

From Granado, Arizona, Lowe is a member of the Navajo tribe. She has published research on the use of campus services by Native American students and is a member of the research team conducting the Gathering of Voices Project sponsored by the National Institute of Native Leaders in Higher Education. She serves on the board of directors of the National Museum of the American Indian and was Vice President of the National Indian Education Association.

(November 1, 2007)

November 1, 2007