Washington Historical Society

Washington Illinois

Washington Historical Society honors
inaugural, 2013 Washington Roots Award recipient, David R. Hunt, Ph.D.

The Washington Historical Society Board of Directors recently honored its inaugural recipient of the Washington Roots award, David R. Hunt, Ph.D. Hunt was honored Saturday, September 26th, at an open-house in his name at the Dement Zinser home. Just days before that, he spoke to a packed house at the Washington Library on his career as the Physical Anthropology Collections Manager for the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, Thursday, September 24th. He also rode in the 2013 Washington Community High School Homecoming Parade. 

    The inaugural award was established to honor someone with “roots” in Washington who has made a significant contribution to society in the area of business, arts, science, government, sports, and charitable work, regardless of where they currently reside. Nominations were accepted during the early part of 2013 and a committee recently selected a recipient from the nominations received.  

    Earning his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee, Hunt currently holds the position of Physical Anthropology Collections Manager for the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.  He is also a Board Certified Forensic Anthropologist, of which there is less than 100 currently in the United States.

    “The Washington Historical Society is proud that our first recipient of the Washington Roots Award is a person of such high caliber, who has achieved so much in a very interesting field,” said WHS Board President, Bev Riggins. Hunt is the son of Jim & Arlys Hunt and grew up in the City of Washington, being an alumnus of Washington Community High School. He began his college studies at the University of Illinois, receiving two degrees, and from there attended the University of Tennessee, where he graduated with both his M.A. and Ph.D. in physical anthropology. “Hunt also spends his time in volunteer efforts, which we, as a non-profit organization, commend,” Riggins added.

   Working in Washington D.C., Hunt also holds the title of “on call” forensic anthropologist for the medical examiner’s office and the metropolitan police, and does some work as a consultant to the Historic Preservation Office. In addition, he is the forensic anthropology consultant for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Through his diligent work, he has helped the organization successfully identify the remains of many missing children. On the side, Hunt also gives lectures and has authored many books on the important issues to the field of anthropology.

     For more information about the award, this event, or the Society, please contact   Bev Riggins, WHS President, at 309-303-5470. 

Content by Elyse Nicholson