Richard Dauenhauer wins Bullock prize for excellence

Richard Dauenhauer, President's Professor, UAS

Richard Dauenhauer, retired professor of Alaska Native Languages and Culture at the University of Alaska Southeast, has been selected as the recipient of the University of Alaska Foundation’s Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence, the largest single award made annually by the UA Foundation’s Board of Trustees.


Dauenhauer will be formally recognized for this award with a reception to be held Tuesday, June 11, from 5:30–8 p.m. in the UAS Egan Library.

The Edith R. Bullock Prize was established to highlight individual contributions that benefit the UA system. Dauenhauer was honored for his work in preserving Alaska Native languages, Tlingit in particular.

In his nomination of Dauenhauer, Dr. Robin Walz wrote: “Without a doubt, the revitalization of Tlingit language and linguistics today would not have been possible without the achievements of Richard Dauenhauer, in support of the University of Alaska’s mission: to advance and disseminate knowledge through creative teaching, research, and public service with an emphasis on Alaska, the North and their diverse peoples.”

Dauenhauer was Alaska State Writer Laureate from 1981-1988; his wife, Nora Marks Dauenhauer, is current Writer Laureate (nationally, they are the first couple to have shared the title). The pair published a four-volume series on Tlingit culture and history, as well as many articles, and have been recognized with the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award. They have been instrumental in preparing educational systems for the continuation of Native languages, including the Alaska Native Language program at UAS. For example, in the 1990s, the Dauenhauers began compiling a huge database of Tlingit verbs and their conjugations, a project eventually turned over to Juneau linguist Keri Edwards Eggleston.

Dauenhauer, also known for his work as a translator in several languages, received his bachelor’s degree in Russian from Syracuse University, his master’s in German from the University of Texas, and his doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin. He began teaching at UA in 1984, and was honored with a Governor’s Award for the Arts in 1989. In 2005, he was appointed President’s Professor of Alaska Native Languages and Culture jointly at UAS and UAF.

The Bullock award was established in 1988 by the late Edith R. Bullock, who served the university for 30 years as a member of the UA Board of Regents and the foundation’s Board of Trustees. She was also a member of Alaska’s Territorial House of Representatives, Territorial Senate, Alaska Business Hall of Fame and an Alaskan of the Year.

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