The Ralph Luebben Prize in Anthropology is awarded to the graduating senior who best exemplifies the ideal Anthropology student including meritorious scholarly work, breadth in the discipline, field experience, and an anthropological viewpoint on life.
Archaeologist, anthropologist, teacher, scholar—Ralph A. Luebben was the first full-time professor of anthropology at Grinnell College, the first tenured anthropologist on the faculty, the first chair of an autonomous department of anthropology, and the founder of the department’s summer archaeological field school. Ralph Luebben’s affiliation with Grinnell began in 1957. Ralph Luebben retired from Grinnell College in 1983-84.In honor of Ralph Luebben’s many contributions to the department, the Luebben Prize was established.
The Department of Anthropology solicited funds from colleagues and former students in honor of Ralph to set up an endowment fund. The income goes to a senior anthropology major each year. It took a few years to build up enough funds to endow. In 1986, it was moved into the endowment. Ralph passed away October 19, 2009.