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Roper, Donna C. | Morse Department of Special Collections

Name: Roper, Donna C.


Historical Note:

Donna C. Roper, professional archeologists, was born to Norman E. and Laura (Dietz) Roper in Oneonta, New York, June 20, 1947. She became involved with archaeology at Hartwich College in Oneona where she earned a B.A. in History with Departmanental Honors in 1968. She completed her Master's and Doctoral degrees, respectively, in Anthropology with an amphasis in archaeology at Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1970 and the University of Missouri, Columbia, in 1975.

Donna Roper was a dedicated and prolific archaeologist. She directed projects in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, Kansas, and other states. She held research positions at the American Archaeology Division of the University of Missouri and the Illinois State Museum in the1970s. In 1980 she joined Gilbert/Commonwealth Inc. of Jackson, Michigan as Senior Archaeologist and Project Manager, becoming a partner with Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group of Jackson, Michigan, in 1988.

Her projects for Comonwealth took her to Nebraska, where Donna developed a true love for the Great Plains. In 1991 she fulfilled her dream to live and work regularly in the reagion by moving to Manhattan, KS. She appreciated the environment, the town, and Kansas State University, where she became an avid fan of KSU woment's basketball. She served as Research Associate Professor with the Department of Socialology, Anthropology, and Social Work and also worked regularly as an independent researcher and consultant. In 20015 she also bracme adjunct research associate with the Archaeological Research Center at the University of Kansas.

Donna not only stayed active with regional archaeological research, but occasionally taught classes at KSU and KU. She also was an integral graduate committee member for nine Master's and Doctoral students of archaeology. She employed and influenced many students in the field and lab leading a number of successful careers in archaeology. Her curiocity, broad knowledge, and keen mind stimulated not only students, but her colleagues in the Plaines, Midwest, and beyond. She presented research in two edited books, as well as five book-length monographs, and numerous professional journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports. She was active with various regional professional organizations for which she often served in leadership roles.

Donna Roper regularly looked forward to professional meetings where she presented her research, caught up with colleagues, and vigorously debated ideas. She loved to share her knowledge and learn from others through public venues. She was invited regularly to share her insights with public groups in Kansas and Nebraska and always elicited valuable conversatons with others about the Native prehistory of this region. She also co-led public archaeology projects in Kansas though the Kansas Archaeological Training Program sponsored by the Kansas Anthropological Association and the Kansas Historical Society.

In 2015 Donna Roper was awarded the Distinguished Service Award of the Plains Anthropological Society and the W. Duncan Strong Memorial Award presented by the Nebraska Association of Professional Archaeologists. Through these she joined a select group of renowned recipients marking axamplary contributions to her profession.

Donna Roper died on August 1, 2015 in Manhattan, KS.






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