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Alums 1970-1979

Doug Sanford, '74

Through the department's newsletter I have heard of a few other alumni from my time at William and Mary (1970-74), especially those focused on archaeology. Upon graduating I worked in CRM archaeology, including with W&M's 'Southside Historical Sites'; (Yorktown Battlefield, Ashlawn-Highlands), before and after graduate school. I obtained my MA in American Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania in 1979, and then worked for several years at Monticello under William Kelso. I took the long term approach to a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Virginia, combing that with more employment, finally receiving my degree in 1995.

Since 1994 I have been the archaeologist on the faculty of the Department of Historic Preservation at the University of Mary Washington. My research has centered on African American archaeology and most recently, on slave-related architecture. For the last six years I have served as our department chair.

As fate would have it, my daughter Sarah now attends William and Mary, where she's a junior emphasizing environmental studies.

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Allan Sharrett, '74

I've very much enjoyed receiving the Anthropology newsletters and e-mails over the years, but have never responded.  I suppose I never really thought I had anything to add to the conversation.  But perhaps I do - hence, my first communication to you in the 36 years since I graduated.

After graduating from W&M in 1974, I attended law school at the University of Richmond, then began a general law practice in the small southern Virginia town of Emporia.  After 27 years of criminal defense, civil litigation, and much domestic relations work, I became a Circuit Court judge, a position I've now held for six years.  I sit in six counties in rural southside Virginia.  As a court of general jurisdiction, I preside over all manner of cases, from capital murder to speeding appeals to adoptions, divorce, complex civil litigation of all sorts, etc.

I get odd looks when I tell people that I majored in Anthropology as an undergraduate; however, I am an unrepentant advocate for the discipline.  First, despite 33 years in the law, arguing cases before the Virginia Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, and issuing a plethora of opinions since I've been on the bench, by far the most challenging, stimulating, and satisfying intellectual experience I've ever had was working on my undergraduate thesis.  I still look at it on occasion, can't believe how stilted and raw the text is, but continue to regard it with both fondness and pride.  Professor Rhinehart was a marvelous advisor, and he established a culture of intellectual banter and prodding that I've tried to emulate with my law clerks.

Next, the reading and writing required to be an Anthro major prepared me very well for law school.  I sat next to students who had never taken an exam, or written a paper, or done original research - all of which I'd undertaken in abundance as an Anthropology undergrad.

Finally, my major gave me a distinct appreciation for the human condition, and certainly made me both a better attorney, and a better judge.

At the risk of being overly long-worded, I wanted to pass on these observations.  The longer I've been out of college, the more I've come to appreciate the opportunities afforded me as an Anthropology major.  I have no idea whether this would be helpful, but if I can ever be part of a discussion concerning the benefits of majoring in Anthropology, even if one does not contemplate a career in the field, I would be delighted to do so.

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Richard Eason '78
(4/17/2011)

Hello,
Unfortunately I predated these professors, which tells me I am getting along myself.  I am a Foreign Service Officer currently studying at the Naval War College in Newport, RI and heading to probably my last overseas tour at the American Embassy in the United Arab Emirates.  I still have great memories of my time at W&M and Anthro.
Cheers,
Richard Eason '78