Mary Lindsay Elmendorf

Ruby, South Carolina
Father James Calvin Lindsay
Mother Jean McGregor

John Elmendorf

John Landgraf


Calvin Lindsay Elmendorf

Susan Elmendorf Roberts


St Pauls High School, 1933 (Valedictorian)

BA Psychology UNC Chapel Hill 1937 Honors (Sima XI)

Queens College 1937-39

MA equivalent-Public Administration and Social Work, UNC Chapel Hill 1941

Special student, Spanish and Art, Escuela de Bellas Artes, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 1941-2

Certificate, School of Relief and Reconstruction, Haverford College, PA 1945

MA (Incomplete)-University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 1946-48

PhD Union Graduate School Anthropology Antioch 1972

Employment See her CV at University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections

American Anthropological Association

Society for Applied Anthropology

Association for the Advancement of Science


United Nations Association/USA

UNIFEM/Gulf Coast Chapter

Democratic Club


Nobel Peace Prize recipient of group award British and American Quakers for work during and after World War II

2007 PLACA- Lifetime Achievement Award "in recognition of special dedication to water and sanitation projects and for your outstanding achievements in the region and beyond"

2009 Brown University received Honorary Degree as Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa
"Pioneering and compassionate anthropologist, you have dedicated yourself to peace and justice. From the postwar prisons of France to impoverished villages in Latin America, you helped forge the field of Applied Anthropology. As Director of CARE in Mexico you designed a well-drilling system. You also studied the roles of Maya women, helping them fulfill their families basic needs..." May 24,2009

1981 Praxis Award "For excellence in translating Anthropological Knowledge into Action". by Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists (WAPA)

1982 Margaret Mead Award "For applying principles of anthropology to the resolution of issues of contemporary human concern and influencing a concerned public outside of anthropology", first time presented by both the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology, March

1993 Distinguished Alumna Award "In recognition of outstanding contributions to mankind through the Field of Anthropology" University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

1996 Award presented "in recognition of outstanding public service in support of the United Nations" by the United Nations Association of the United States of America Sarasota-Manatee Chapter

1996 Decorated by SULABH International Social Service Organization, New Delhi, India "for help in incorporating the important roles of women into the planning , execution, effective use and maintenance of appropriate technologies for excreta disposal". Additional expression of thanks for the donation of collection of articles, technical reports, etc for the library of The Museum of the Toilet

1997 Outstanding Alumna Award, Queens College, as "Outstanding member of class of 1937", Charlotte, North Carolina

Interests and Hobbies



Additional Comments

Firsts - Breaking the Glass Ceilings and Introducing Innovations

1936 First women appointed to student government (senior executive committee) University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

1945 Organized black and white women volunteers to integrate the first Traveler's Aid Snack Bar between the waiting rooms for White and Colored passengers in the Railroad Station in Petersburg, VA.

1945 In first group of relief workers to reach war devastated Europe after VE day and before VJ day - on the first non-escorted Victory ship

1946 Designed and directed the Spanish Refugee Program for Secours Quaker (AFSC) with funding form the UN High Commission for Refugees, one of the earliest, if not the first, grant to a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)

1952 First woman Director of a CARE Country Program (Mexico)

1954 Designed and negotiated first School Feeding Program in Haiti for CARE

1958 Designed first CARE Water Supply and Sanitation Project with AFSC. See film, "World Our Hands Can Make". President Kennedy used this as documentation to gain approval and support for the Peace Corps. It is still used as a model by World Bank, USAID, and many NGO's. In 2007 recieved Lifetime Achievment PLACA Award

1961 First woman invited to speak at Brown University Inter Fraternity Council

1962 Designed and supervised first summer work/study for Brown students in Latin America with CARE and Peace Corps.

1964 Prepared and presented a course "Community Participation: Volunteers as Facilitators" at the first Peace Corps training program for work in Latin America.

1965 Founding member First Planned Parenthood of Sarasota

1966 Appointed by the Governor of Florida to the First Commission on the Status of Women

1972 Member, Ford Foundation's First Task Force on Women

1975 First woman anthropologist invited to join the World Bank staff. First person to raise gender issues at World Bank - See Bura irrigation project and PROWWESS (Promotion and Support of Women, Water Supply and Sanitation).

1975 - 1995 Raised and helped redefine policy issues about important roles of women/globally and locally, in UNDP/World Bank, WHO, FAO, UNICEF, UNESCO and NGOs, i.e. CARE. Many of these were published in their journals.

1982 First recipient of the Margaret Mead award presented by both the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology

1991 Presented first display of gender issues in a photographic exhibit based on PROWWESS projects at the annual meeting of the Florida division of UNA/USA

1997 One of the two first women delegates to the United Nations Conference on Water Resources in Mar del Plata. Appointed by President Carter.

2007 First ever winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award of PLACA, the Latin American and Caribbean Water Prizes