IMS Awards

About Christopher DeCormier and the Memorial Scholarship

Christopher playing music with the family

Dear Friends,

In the days immediately following Christopher's death in November of 1977, we both felt that we must reach out to find some way to transcend that finality. We knew that it could only come about through our involvement with young men and women who shared with our son his commitment to humanity, his passion for the adventure of life, and his willingness to meet it more than halfway. We decided to set up a scholarship fund in Christopher's memory.

We called Robert Carmack at the University at Albany to ask his help in establishing the scholarship. We knew that he had been the single greatest influence in Christopher's decision to pursue studies in anthropology, specializing in Maya studies, when he was an undergraduate at Albany. In fact, we remember very well the first time we met Dr. Carmack, sitting on the grass outside the University building on a late May morning, listening while he briefed our son before Christopher's first field trip to Guatemala.

The Christopher DeCormier Scholarship Fund became a reality in 1978. Since then, many young scholars have received assistance enabling them to pursue a variety of exciting field research opportunities. Now in the fourth decade of the fund, we would like to salute all the young men and women who have thus far been its recipients, as well as all of the members of the University at Albany's Institute for Mesoamerican Studies. We feel privileged to be a part of your community, and to be able, through you, to celebrate and reaffirm the spirit that was Christopher.

Louise and Robert DeCormier.


A young Christopher with a fresh catch


Christopher and children at the Fresh Air Fund Camp, 1972