Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts HistorySauer, Anne
Marianne J. H. Witherby Prize in Archaeology,
The Marianne J. H. Witherby Prize in Archaeology was established by Marianne Witherby, an alumna of Tufts who is a devoted supporter of archaeological studies at the university. The prize is awarded each year to an archaeology major in recognition of scholastic ability, dedication to the discipline, and resourcefulness.
Marianne J. H. Witherby, J1976, was born in the Swedish socialist community of Jamestown, New York, in 1914. Her paternal grandparents had immigrated from Småland to escape the potato blight. Her grandfather arrived at age fourteen changed his name to Jones, lied about his age, and joined the Union Navy. Her maternal grandparents arrived from Stockholm on the Carpathia at the turn of the century. Her father was a lawyer who opened his first office with Robert H. Jackson, later of the U.S. Supreme Court. The family traveled extensively to oil fields in Wyoming and Montana where her father tried to prevent illegal oil drilling on Indian reservations. She finished high school in the east. When her father sent her to college, the old Swedes objected to educating a woman as a waste of money. He said, "You educate a man and you educate one person. You educate a woman, you educate a whole family." College was not a happy experience for her and law school was worse-women were not wanted there. She worked in radio and advertising instead, wrote articles for Gourmet Magazine, did a cooking show on TV. As her children grew up (Tom from a brief first marriage, Connie from her marriage to Thomas Witherby, Harvard '36, an electrical engineer with Raytheon) she traveled and wrote articles about Europe for the Boston Globe.
When she wrote about Greek Bronze Age ruins, Marianne Witherby found that there was little agreement among archaeologists concerning important dates. Emily Vermeule from Harvard suggested she take some classes. Tufts was the only institution to offer a suitable program. A trial run during summer school was made difficult by concurrent treatment for a just-diagnosed cancer. She ended the summer session with an A and a B and cancer cured. Four years later, at age 62, she graduated magna cum laude with majors in archaeology and Greek and Roman studies. She enjoyed her years at Tufts and has been among the most vigorous supporters of the archaeology program here ever since.
Source: BTU[Arts and Sciences/Engineering]; 100H
The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.