Shirley Schermer founded the UI Office of the State Archaeologist Burials Program and served as its first director for 27 years.
Monday, February 27, 2023

The University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) is delighted to announce that retired OSA Burials Program Director, Shirley J. Schermer, has been awarded an honorary doctor of science degree by the University of Iowa. Shirley’s three decade career at OSA established Iowa as a national and international leader in respectful treatment of ancestral remains, particularly those of the Indigenous people of the region. Shirley’s expert knowledge and genuine concern led to her developing close relationships with many modern Tribal representatives involved with repatriation. The success of Shirley’s program also contributed meaningfully to the growth of OSA’s standing as a leading anthropological research center.

Shirley is pictured above with Don Wanatee, Suzanne Wanatee Buffalo, and Johnathan Buffalo, all of the Meskwaki Nation, in 2014.