ASM's 2019 William B. Marye Award

Claude Bowen

Claude Bowen receives the 2019 William B. Marye Award
Claude works with volunteers at the screen in 2019

Claude began his official duties with the Society in 2005 when he was elected a Trustee-at-Large. Serving three terms in this role, he quickly established a reputation for his gracious ability to hear and consider diverse opinions, and for his ability to find a way forward through successful accommodation of disparate positions.

In an example of his excellent negotiation skills that also highlighted his keen intellect, Claude's study of the West River Collection of Adena artifacts while weighing the various proposals for their curation led to a decision by the ASM to permit use and study of the collection under stringent and prescribed conditions that will ensure their preservation for future generations.

While serving as Trustee-at-Large, Claude was selected by the Maryland Historical Trust to represent the Society on the Working Group for Native American Human Remains. What followed were several years of contentious and difficult negotiations that were superbly aided by Claude's ability to appreciate perspectives and beliefs that seemed foreign to most of the archeologists appointed to this work. Claude's open and genuine intellectual curiosity toward, and respect for, the Native American positions significantly contributed to the successful conclusion of the Working Group's efforts. These unique abilities would stand Claude in good stead in the years to come, and would lead to his election in 2010 to the Vice Presidency of the Society.

Claude's idyllic time as Vice President was cut short when the Society's President prematurely resigned in 2011. As Vice President, Claude assumed the office of President and completed the unfilled term. His boundless good judgement, tempered with his quick wit, made Claude a wise and popular President, and he was handily re-elected to the office twice, thus making him the longest serving President (5 years, 2011 - 2016) in Society history, and exceeding the maximum term allowed under the Society's bylaws (2 consecutive two year terms). As President, Claude led the Society through a turbulent period in which funding sources dwindled while archeological requirements grew. His efforts to juggle the desires of many factions, while keeping an eye on the goals of the Society, helped the ASM to flourish and grow, despite the many challenges.

These long years of service would have constituted ample justification to take a break from official duties with the Society, but Claude powered on. Having assumed the responsibility for grants management while President, Claude continued in this role. He cleanly effected the closing of several open grants with the MHT, and ushered in a new round of grants - and the ground-breaking research they funded - beginning with Hurricane Sandy Relief grants. This new source of funding presented challenging requirements that were ably handled by Claude, who matched these new demands with new and innovative approaches to archeological reporting. It is entirely due to Claude's fertile mind that we have case studies, written for the general public and accompanied by PowerPoint presentations, for the three archeological sites investigated under the Sandy Grant. Having successfully sheparded the ASM through the first round of the re-funded MHT Non-Capital grant program, and into the second round, Claude has recently relinquished this responsibility to others.

But he's not done serving the goals of the Society. Last year Claude was confirmed as a Commissioner with the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs, where he will represent the perspectives and potential contributions of archeology to the Native American community in Maryland.

For all of his past achievements and for ongoing service, it is fitting to recognize Claude for his outstanding contributions to Maryland Archeology.