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Suphronia Cheek, who had been with the Department of Anthropology for 20 years, was cited as the person who had turned the department into a community and for being an incredible secretary.

“She mastered endless details of University and departmental regulations, the complexities of schedules, the faces and life histories of faculty, students and staff, birthdays, anniversaries, illnesses, triumphs―all the poignant and significant details of both professional and personal life for the many and various persons she deals with,” her citation reads.

She managed her many secretarial tasks, which ranged from graduate admissions to anything else that needed doing, despite the interruptions and disruptions from the telephone and visitors.

“Ask her how to do something. She knows. Ask her for information. She provides it reliably and then produces the irrefutable document to support her answer.”

Bruce Winterhalder, chairman of the Department of Anthropology, said: “Whatever the topic, she is the source.”

“She has shown what a generous heart and unremitting devotion can do,” her citation read, “to elevate work like that done by many another far above the ordinary, turning it into that unusual, meritorious, superior service.

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