President's Service Award - Fall 2008
Cathy Gunderson has devoted the past 25 years to slowly and methodically transforming the university’s unique Museum of Antiquities from a little-known and sequestered resource into a campus centerpiece where students, faculty and visitors can find common ground for study and dialogue.
Educated in classics and ancient history, Gunderson began work as the part-time museum administrator in 1983, when it was housed on the second floor of the main library. Singlehandedly at first, then with the help of student volunteers, she transformed what was simply a collection of replicas of ancient art into a true museum, now located in the College Building. It was a process of much “on the job” learning as she dedicated extensive time and energy to learning about curatorial practices and museum management.
As the collection expanded, Gunderson worked hard to ensure key pieces anchored the museum’s permanent exhibit while special exhibits highlighted new acquisitions and special parts of the collection. The museum is also a vital resource for university students, teachers and researchers, providing a ‘laboratory’ filled with physical evidence of the ancient world.