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Friends of SMU-in-Taos

Taos Cultural Institute

Honoring Fred Wendorf 1924-2015

Fred Wendorf

Fred Wendorf, the “Father” of SMU-in-Taos and Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at SMU, passed away July 15, 2015. The author of more than 30 books, Wendorf had been a member of the SMU faculty since 1964. In 1987, he became the first SMU faculty member elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Wendorf founded SMU’s Department of Anthropology and SMU’s Fort Burgwin Research Center in Taos, New Mexico. His excavations in New Mexico unearthed the remnants of a log fort established by the U.S. Army in 1852 to protect the Taos-Santa Fe road from roaming Apache and Comanche. Wendorf reconstructed Fort Burgwin’s structures based on the archaeological evidence he found of the original vertical log buildings.

SMU began acquiring the property in 1964, which evolved into the campus for SMU-in-Taos and now offers academic courses in the humanities, natural sciences, and the arts as well as archaeological and anthropological research at the restored 19th-century Fort Burgwin compound and the 13th-century Pot Creek Pueblo archeological site.

Today, the SMU-in-Taos campus makes up 423 acres in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico. The life-changing experiences of the students who study at Taos are supported by the Friends of SMU-in-Taos, whose unrestricted giving provides scholarships, course development and campus improvements.

We seek to honor Fred Wendorf's vision and enthusiasm in the formation of SMU-in-Taos over the last fifty years. We hope that you will consider joining us today as we celebrate the accomplishments of this beloved professor.

Become a Friend of SMU-in-Taos.