Norman Neuerburg Award

Norman Neuerburg Award Recipients

2024 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Damian Bacich, Ph.D.

Damian Bacich, Ph.D., is a fourth-generation Californian and Professor of Hispanic Languages and Literature at San José State University. In addition to serving as Chair of the Department of World Languages and Literatures for 12 years, he has taught courses on Colonial Latin American literature and culture, translation and the history of Spanish and Mexican California.

Damian's appreciation for California history grew while working at the Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park near his home in the Napa Valley, and while taking classes with historian Michael Mathes at the University of San Francisco, where he graduated with a B.A. in History. He later earned a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from UCLA, where he combined his love for history and languages to focus on the transcription and translation of documents from Early Modern Spain and Colonial Latin America.

Damian's book-length translations have been published by the University of Toronto, McGill-Queens University, and Notre Dame University Presses. In addition to the CMF Boletín, he has also published articles in academic journals such as California History, Pacific Coast Philology and Comitatus.

In 2015, he founded the California Frontier Project to help disseminate reliable and well-researched information about early California's history. Since then, the California Frontier podcast and website have reached thousands of students, teachers, and history aficionados worldwide.

Damian joined the CMSA in 2009 and has since presented at numerous CMSA and CMF conferences. He has also served on the CFM board of directors and has been an active member of the Foundation's Scholarship Committee.

2023 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Dr. Lee M. Panich


Lee Panich is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Santa Clara University where he has worked since 2010. He has a PhD in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley with a BA in Anthropology from Brown University. He is currently the Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Santa Clara University. He has published countless books, articles, and peerreviewed journal articles and well as chapters in peer-reviewed books. He also published articles in the California Missions Foundation Boletín Journal and was a board member of the California Missions Foundation from 2014-2016. In addition to more than 40 academic articles and book chapters, Lee is the author of Narratives of Persistence: Indigenous Negotiations of Colonialism in Alta and Baja California (2020) and co-editor of Indigenous Landscapes and Spanish Missions: New Perspectives from Archaeology and Ethnohistory (2014).

2022 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Dr. Robert H. Jackson

Robert H. Jackson received his doctorate with a specialization in Latin American history in 1988 from the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include historical demography, frontier missions, evangelization in 16th century Mexico, the colonial caste system, and 19th century liberalism. He has authored, co-authored, edited, and co-edited 27 books, and more than 70 professional articles and book chapters. His most recent publications include “Jesuits in Spanish America before the Suppression Organization and Demographic and Quantitative Perspectives,” Brill Research Perspectives in Jesuit Studies 2.4 (2021), 1– 108; “Regional Conflict in the Río de la Plata Borderlands and the Militarization of the Jesuit Missions among the Guarani: A Historic and Cartographic Record,” Boletin: The Journal of the California Mission Foundation 37:1 (2021), 5-46; “The Convent Complexes of the Male Missionary Orders in Mexico City,” Boletin: The Journal of the California Mission Foundation 37:1 (2021), 123-156; and his most recent book The Bourbon Reforms and the remaking of Spanish Frontier Missions (Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2022). Jackson lives in Mexico City. 

2021 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Dr. Steven W. Hackel

Born and raised in California, Steven W. Hackel earned his B.A. at Stanford University and his Ph.D. in American History from Cornell University with specializations in early America and the American West.  From 1994 to 1996 he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture in Williamsburg, Virginia. He taught at Oregon State University from 1996 to 2007 and joined the faculty at UCR in the fall of 2007.  Within the larger field of American history, Hackel's research specializes on the Spanish Borderlands and the California Missions.  He is especially interested in Native responses to colonialism, the effects of disease on colonial encounters, and new ways of visualizing these processes through digital history.  His publications include a biography on Fray Junípero Serra, a monograph on the California missions, numerous essays, a textbook, and two edited volumes.  He is the general editor of the Early California Population Project and the Project Director for the Early California Cultural Atlas.  He co-curated the Huntington Library’s international exhibition, “Junípero Serra and the Legacy of the California Missions.”  He currently is co-chair of the Early Modern Studies Institute’s Seminar on the Spanish Borderlands.  His current work involves a study of immigration and community formation in California before 1850.

2020 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Alan Kemp

Bio coming soon.

2019 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Richard Carrico

Bio coming soon.

2018 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Brian Kelly

Considered to be the “Harry Downie" of his generation, Brian Kelly has served the Monterey Diocese for over thirty years as a trusted volunteer project manager and construction coordinator on a variety of construction, restoration and repair projects. The list of historic preservation and restoration projects Brian Kelly has helped to guide is impressive, including the seismic retrofitting of the Royal Presidio Chapel in Monterey, the Carmel Mission Basilica, Mission San Antonio de Padua, and Mission San Juan Bautista. Brian’s effectiveness and passion for the Missions have led to the completion of projects which will continue to serve the
public for generations to come.

Brian received his degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University and earned his MBA from Stanford University. After serving in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, Brian began a career with Granite Construction Company as an Engineer. He would later become a Division Manager and a Vice President of the company. Brian retired from Granite Construction in the early 1980’s to focus on community volunteer projects and personal development.

2018 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Dr. Iris Engstrand

In 2017, Dr. Iris Engstrand retired from the University of San Diego as a distinguished Professor of History, after serving California’s academic and civic communities for nearly five decades. Iris completed her undergraduate and graduate studies in history at the University of Southern California and focused her professional career on the Hispanic Period in California and the Southwest.

Her special interests include 18th century Spanish scientific and exploring expeditions and the influence of the enlightenment on Spanish California. Iris’s research on Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo led to her involvement with the San Diego Maritime Museum’s reconstruction of the 16th century vessel San Salvador. Her community service, professional activities, publications and honors are too numerous to enumerate, but among these is the Royal Order of Isabel de Catolica, awarded by King Juan Carlos of Spain, for her outstanding cultural contributions.

2017 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Marie Christine Duggan

Dr. Marie Christine Duggan grew up in Berkeley, California and finished her education at the New School for Social Research in New York. Dr. Duggan studies how market forces shaped human lives in 18th century Spanish California and 19th century Mexican California. In 1995, Dr. Duggan located account books for nine California missions in Mexico’s National Archives, which were the basis for her 2000 PHD dissertation, Market and Church on the Mexican Frontier. She received in 1997 the Norman Geiger Fellowship for research at the Santa Barbara Mission Archive Library and the Haynes Foundation Fellowship for Research at the Huntington Library.

She analyzed the Santa Barbara Mission-Presidio accounts at the SBMAL, and the San Francisco Mission-Presidio Accounts at the Huntington. In 1998, she received a fellowship from the Pew Program in Religion and American History at Yale University to analyze the De la Guerra business correspondence at the SBMAL. Quantitative analysis revealed the pattern of economic development in Spanish California, and showed the cessation of financing in 1810.  She has published “Laws of the Market vs. Laws of God” in History of Political Economy (HOPE) describing how missionaries responded to the cessation of financing in 1810 by turning to int’l commerce in hides and tallow.

2016 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Ruben G. Mendoza


University professor Dr. Ruben G. Mendoza, a groundbreaker in solar geometry church altar revelations and a dedicated scholar covering many Missions-related historical fields, is the 2016 Norman Neuerburg Award recipient. Dr. Mendoza is an archaeologist, writer, photographer and founding faculty member of the California State University, Monterey Bay. Professor Mendoza has directed major investigations at San Juan Bautista, San Carlos Borromeo, San Miguel Arcangel, and La Soledad.

His work at the Royal Presidio of Monterey resulted in the discovery of the Serra Chapels of 1770 and 1772. He has over one-hundred and twenty-five publications, including those documenting the solar geometry of the California and Southwest missions, and was previously awarded the first ever National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop devoted to the study of the California missions, and titled The Fourteenth Colony: Native Californians, Missions, Presidios, and Colonists on the Spanish Frontier, 1769-1848.

2015 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Russell Skowronek


Russell K. Skowronek is professor of anthropology and history at The University of Texas-Pan American and a long-time member and past Board member of the CMSA. He has studied the Spanish colonial world for nearly thirty five years. In addition to his book on Mission Santa Clara de Asís published by the Academy of American Franciscan History, his research on this topic has been published in Historical Archaeology, Ethnohistory, the International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Research in Economic Anthropology, and the Boletín. He is the senior author of a forthcoming book published by the University Press of Florida titled, Ceramic Production in Early Hispanic California: Craft, Economy and Trade on the Frontier of New Spain.

2014 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Glenn Farris


Glenn Farris’s interest in the study of early California history began at the Cooper-Molera Adobe in Monterey in 1977 when he worked on an archaeological project there led by Robert Heizer. The following year he began what would turn out to be a 30 year career as an archaeologist for California State Parks and one of his first field projects was at the Sonoma Barracks in 1979.

Over the years he has been fortunate enough to work on projects at the sites of missions Santa Cruz, San Juan Bautista and La Purísima, as well as in Old Town San Diego, the Presidio of Santa Bárbara, and San Pascual, among others. His parallel interest as an historical archaeologist/ethnohistorian has been the Russian presence in California in the first half of the 19th century, particularly at Fort Ross, with a special interest in the interaction of the Russians and Californios. As a long-time member of the CMSA he has presented many papers at the various conferences. He also served on the CMSA board of directors and edited the Occasional Papers series, precursor to the Boletín. His varied studies have led to numerous publications on aspects of the compelling story of early California.

2013 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Michael Imwalle


Michael Imwalle, associate director of archaeology at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and a researcher whose interests include California history and prehistory, Spanish Colonial archaeology, Spanish Colonial architecture, preservation of historic structures, adobe building materials, and the archaeology of standing buildings, is the 2013 recipient of CMSA’s prestigious Norman Neuerburg Award.

Mr. Imwalle's current work focuses on the documentation and study of the elaborate water systems employed by the soldiers and missionaries within the Santa Barbara Presidial District. These elaborate systems of dams, aqueducts, and reservoirs permitted the development of vast agricultural and industrial complexes that transformed these communities into the modern towns that surround them today. In his capacity as archaeologist for the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, he continues to work on the preservation of historic sites such as El Presidio de Santa Bárbara, Casa de la Guerra, and the Santa Inés Mission Mills.

2012 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Dr. Kent Lightfoot


Dr. Kent Lightfoot is a professor of Archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley. He grew up in Santa Rosa, CA and received his BA from Stanford University and his master's and doctoral degrees in anthropology from Arizona State University.

Dr. Lightfoot’s general research interests include North American prehistory, coastal hunter-gatherer societies, the emergence of early village communities, and culture contact between Native peoples and European explorers and colonists. His current work focuses on how indigenous peoples responded to European contact and colonialism, and how the outcomes of these encounters influenced cultural developments in postcolonial contexts. This work involves the study of long-term culture change and persistence among coastal Native peoples that transcends prehistoric and historic boundaries.

He employs multiple lines of evidence drawn from archaeological materials, ethnohistorical accounts, ethnographic observations and Native oral traditions to consider the implications of early contacts with European explorers and later interactions in multi-ethnic colonial communities. He is currently experimenting with an approach that incorporates a long-term diachronic perspective for comparing and contrasting the spatial organization of daily practices and cultural landscapes of coastal hunter-gatherer groups before, during, and after culture contact episodes.

2011 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Jack Williams

2010 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Knox Mellon

Knox Mellon

Knox Mellon served for many years as the Executive Director of the California Missions Foundation, a secular nonprofit whose sole objective is protection and preservation of the 21 existing California missions. He retired from CMF on December 31, 2012.

Mellon’s career as one of the founding members of the historic preservation movement in California covers a span of thirty-five years.  He served twice as California’s State Historic Preservation Officer and as Executive Director of the State Historical Resource’s Commission.  Additionally, Mellon was Principal of a consulting firm whose cultural resource efforts included work on L.A. City Hall, USC and UCLA historic buildings, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and the L.A. Coliseum.

Early in the 1990s, Mellon began working with Sam Maloof in anticipation of the 210 Freeway and its impact on Sam and Alfreda Maloof.  He served as the first President of the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation and was involved in seven years of preparation for movement to the new site, as well as liaison with the State Office of Historic Preservation.  In 2004, the California Preservation Foundation recognized Mellon with its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award.  He holds a PhD in California History from the Claremont Graduate University.

2009 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Alan K. Brown

2008 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Bernard "Bunny" Fontana

Bernard L. Fontana

Bernard L. Fontana graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in January, 1953 with a B.A. degree in anthropology. Following two years' service in the United States Army, more than half of it spent in Alaska, he enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Arizona where he studied cultural anthropology and archaeology, earning his Ph.D. in anthropology in 1960.

From 1960 to 1962, Fontana was Field Historian in the University of Arizona Library, a job which entailed his traveling throughout the state collecting documentary materials for deposit in the library as well as gathering oral histories from Arizona pioneers. From 1962 to 1978, he was Ethnologist in the Arizona State Museum and a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology where he taught courses in historical archaeology, ethnology of Indians of the Southwest, history of the Indians of the United States, and a graduate seminar relating to the culture of the Tohono O'odham (Papago Indians). He also served on Ph.D. dissertation committees.

From 1978 to full time retirement in July, 1992 he served as Field Representative in the University of Arizona Library. From 1978 until 1982, he was also a special assistant to the President of the University of Arizona. He is now retired.

Fontana is author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of twenty-three books and monographs, most of them related to the history and Indians of the Southwest. Among these are Biography of a Desert Church: The Story of Mission San Xavier del Bac (Tucson: Tucson Corral of the Westerners, rev. ed. 1996); Johnny Ward's Ranch: A Study in Historic Sites Archaeology (Tucson: Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society, 1962); Papago Indian Pottery (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1962); An Englishman's Arizona: The Ranching Letters of Herbert R. Hislop (Tucson: Overland Press, 1965); Mission San Xavier del Bac(Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1973); Friar Bringas Reports to the King: Methods of Indoctrination on the Frontier of New Spain in 1796-97 (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1977); The Other Southwest: Indian Arts & Crafts of Northwestern Mexico (Phoenix: The Heard Museum, 1977); Tarahumara: Where Night Is the Day of the Moon (Flagstaff: Northland Press, 1979); Of Earth and Little Rain: The Papago Indians (Flagstaff: Northland Press, 1981); Massacre on the Gila: An Account of the Last Major Battle between American Indians, with Reflections on the Origin of War (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 1986); Trailing the Holy Cross: Soldiers' Feet, Apache Ears, and the Santa Cruz Valle y(Tucson: Peccary Press, 1994); Entrada: The Legacy of Spain and Mexico in the United States (Tucson: Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 1994); Before Rebellion: Letters & Reports of Jacobo Sedelmayr, S.J. (Tucson: Arizona Historical Society, 1996); The Pimería Alta: Missions and More(Tucson: Southwestern Mission Research Center, 1996); AMiniature History of Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo (Pasadena: Castle Press, 1997); A Guide to Contemporary Southwest Indians (Tucson: Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 1999); Trails to Tiburón: the 1894 and 1895 Field Diaries of W J McGee (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2000); and A Gift of Angels: The Art of Mission San Xavier del Bac (Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2010).

Fontana is also author of more than 150 articles and chapters in books in both professional and popular publications, nearly all of them related to the Southwest. These include two chapters concerning the Pima and Papago Indians in the Southwest volume (10) of the Handbook of North American Indians (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1983). He is a former editor of The Kiva, the quarterly of the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society; of Ethnohistory, the quarterly of the American Society for Ethnohistory; of the SMRC-Newsletter, the quarterly of the Southwestern Mission Research Center, Inc.; and of The Anchor & Bull, an occasional newsletter of the Friends of the University of Arizona Library. He was also general editor of the Southwest Center Series of books published under the auspices of the Southwest Center of the University of Arizona.

From 1974 through 1976, Fontana served on the Western Regional Advisory Committee of the National Park Service, having been appointed to the committee by the Secretary of the Interior. In that capacity he visited units of the park system throughout the Western Region and moderated public meetings related to park matters on behalf of the Western Regional Director.

Fontana is a past president of the board of directors of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; of the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society; of the Society for Historical Archaeology; the American Society for Ethnohistory; of the Southwestern Mission Research Center, Inc.; and of the Friends of the University of Arizona Library. He is a past sheriff of the Tucson Corral of the Westerners; former vice-chairman of the board of directors of the Southwest Parks and Monuments Association; a former member of the board of directors of the Arizona Historical Society; a former fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology and of the American Anthropological Association; a fellow of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science; and founding member and former secretary of the Patronato San Xavier, a non-profit corporation concerned with the conservation of Mission San Xavier del Bac begun in 1978.

In addition to his having been a California Alumni Scholar, Fontana's awards and honors have included a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research; Border Regional Library Association awards for literary excellence for Tarahumara (1979) and Of Earth and Little Rain (1981); the Edward B. Danson Distinguished Associate Award of the Southwest Parks and Monuments Association (1989); the Victor R. Stoner Award of the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society (1990); the Southwestern Anthropological Association Distinguished Lecture Award (1991); the Emil W. Haury Award of the Southwest Parks and Monuments Association (1991); the J.C. Harrington Medal of the Society for Historical Archaeology (1992); the Ben Avery Award of Arizona Clean and Beautiful (1994); the 1995 Governor's Award for Historic Preservation, Individual Category; the Luminaria Award of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (1998); the Dr. Richard Carmona Community Service Award of Los Descendientes del Presidio de Tucson(2005); the Norman Neuerburg Award of the California Mission Studies Association (2008); the Arizona Book Publishing Association 2011 Glyph Awards for best book, best regional book, and best art/music/photography book for A Gift of Angels: The Art of Mission San Xavier del Bac(with photographer Edward McCain); and selection as an Arizona Culturekeeper (2011)by theSharlot Hall Museum, the Arizona Historical Society and Official State Historian Marshall Trimble, and the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.

In the past, Fontana has been employed by the Papago Tribe of Arizona as its sole expert witness in its successfully-prosecuted land claims case against the United States. In 1993 he also completed a contract with the San Xavier District of the Tohono O'odham Nation to write a history of the San Xavier District and its relation to the Tohono O'odham Nation.

2007 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Randall Milliken

2006 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Rosemary Beebe & Robert Senkewicz


This year the award is being given to a very talented duo, ROSEMARIE BEEBE and ROBERT SENKEWICZ. One is a history professor; the other a Spanish professor, both at Santa Clara University. For the many papers they have presented at CMSA conferences over the years, they are best remembered as a team. I was told it would be inappropriate to present one of them an award without equally awarding the other.

You cannot talk to any authority in the field of Spanish-Mexican Period of California History who do not mention the innovative work done by this team. They have broken so much new ground it seems every authority points to a different one of their many accomplishments.

One person emphasized about our two that they broke new ground by moving beyond stereotyping padres and seeing them as individuals each with their own personality. They analyzed the problems inexperienced Dominicans faced in Baja California, as well as tensions among the Franciscans.

Other people emphasize the creation of the Boletín, a unique scholarly publication of the highest quality. I can remember when the idea for the Boletín was first presented to the CMSA Board at the Santa Cruz conference in 2003; within two years CMSA had a new first-rate publication.

Other authorities emphasize their California the Land of Promise and Despair. This book provided a book of readings on the Spanish and Mexican Periods of California History, a period previously relatively neglected by California historians.

Still others are impressed by the fact their works are not simply translations but are always augmented with extensive commentary and annotations that provide insightful historical context for the reader.

Others point to their feat of producing four major works within a decade: The History of Alta California: A Memoir of Mexican California byAntonio María Osio, 1996; California the Land of Promise and Despair: Chronicles of Early California 1815-1848, 2000; Guide to Manuscripts Concerning Baja California in the Collection of the Bancroft Library, 2002, and Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women, 1815-1848, scheduled to be published by Heyday Press this year. Absolutely everyone that knows their work comments on their unbelievable energy!

As if this is not enough, in 1997, Rose Marie organized CMSA's Conference in Loreto, Baja California Norte. In addition, Rose Marie served as President of the CMSA, during which, in 2002, she and Bob organized a second conference in Mexico, this time in La Paz, Baja California Sur, an excellent conference attended by members and scholars from both sides of the border. As professors at Santa Clara University the pair mentors students, graciously devote time to comment on the manuscripts of professional colleagues, and find time to build bridges with scholars with different perspectives in other disciplines and nations. --Bill Fairbanks

2005 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Msgr. Francis J. Weber & Doyce B. Nunis, Jr.


MSGR. WEBER has had a very long and distinguished career as one of California’s most prolific historians. He has written on many topics on California from 1769 onward. One of his latest publications is The Encyclopedia of California's Catholic Heritage published by the Arthur H. Clark Company. Bob Clark is one of our CMSA members and the publisher of the Boletín [journal of the California Mission Studies Association]. But we are honoring Msgr. Weber for only a part of his monumental productivity– his work on the period of California which is the focus of the California Mission Studies Association.
From a very early date, Msgr. Weber dealt with “Las Californias”. He knew that it was imperative to view the mission history of California as an inclusive history, that of Alta and also Baja California. In 1968, as part of the Baja California Travel Series, he prepared “The missions and missionaries of Baja California: an historical perspective.” In 1979, he edited “The peninsular California missions, 1808-1880: a trinity of reports.”

His series on the documentary history of the Alta California missions brings together a series of very hard-to-locate primary sources on the missions from their earliest days through the 19th and 20th centuries. This series is important and unique in what it makes available: For example, the volume on San Fernando entitled The Mission in the Valley contains 55 entries on the saga of this mission [site of CMSA’s 2005 Annual Conference]. The entries are wide-ranging. There is a letter of Fr. Lasuén dated September 8, 1797 which describes the founding of the mission, a mission inventory from 1827, and description from 1894 by Charles Howard Shinn, entitled “San Fernando by Moonlight”. And not to be forgotten is a piece describing the opening of the Library in 1969– a ceremony at which the major address was given by none other than Doyce Nunis!
Msgr. Weber is a man who wears many hats. Another of his major accomplishments is his work as an archivist in preserving and making available to researchers the story of early California. We have an excellent example of this in Craig Russell’s two-part article that appeared in the last two issues of the Boletín. The article is based on some extremely important discoveries on mission music–- discoveries that were made by researchers at the Archival Center.

In the introduction to The Mission in the Valley, Msgr. Weber wrote: “History rarely stays written. This volume is meant as a source-book for future researchers. Its information-laden pages are envisioned as a ‘launching pad’ for subsequent studies.” I believe that part of Msgr. Weber’s legacy is the success he has had in preserving so many aspects of mission history, be they texts or artifacts, and in making them available to future researchers here at the Archival Center.

Msgr. Weber– We truly are indebted to you.

Dr. DOYCE NUNIS, our co-winner, is also one of California’s most revered historians and he has also contributed much to our knowledge of the California to whose study and preservation our organization is dedicated.

“Las Californias” has long been a very important part of Dr. Nunis’s focus. He was intimately involved in the Baja California Travel Series from its very inception–-indeed from its very conception! In addition to conceiving the series, he also contributed five important volumes to it–- including volumes on the Transit of Venus, the Drawings of Fr. Ignacio Tirsch and the letters of Fr. Jacobo Baegert.
Dr. Nunis has been actively involved in the attempt to keep the Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library–- the repository of some of the most significant documents and artifacts form the mission period–- alive and functioning so that it can continue to be open to researchers, to genealogists, and to the public. Dr. Nunis started the Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library Board and also the Friends of the SBMAL and he is now actively involved in guiding the Archive-Library into its next phase, after the death of one of our CMSA members in May 2004, Fr. Virgilio Biasiol. Through the Archive-Library, Dr. Nunis was instrumental in bringing together the very important articles of Fr. Francis Guest that deal with the mission period and getting them published in one volume, Hispanic California Revisited.

For 43 years, Dr. Nunis has edited the Southern California Quarterly. It is no exaggeration to say that this journal has published some of the most important articles that have helped us all to understand more about the mission period. The articles are too numerous to mention but they include Manuel Servín’s article on secularization, John Johnson’s work on the Indians of San Fernando, Jim Sandos’s article on the Chumash revolt. Richard Whitehead’s work on the presidios, and the important studies by Gloria Miranda and Gloria Ricci Lothrop on women and family life. And, those articles that I have just mentioned represent only the tip of the iceberg. It is not too much to say that under Dr. Nunis’s editorship, the Southern California Quarterly has published, page for page, the most significant work on the California mission era for the past 40 years.
As you can see, it is most appropriate that we honor these two extraordinary individuals together, for they have worked together in the past.

First of all, they both knew and worked with Norman Neuerburg and they will be telling us more about that tomorrow. In 1968, Ward Ritchie Press published Msgr. Weber’s “A bibliography of California bibliographies” and Doyce Nunis wrote the introduction to the volume. And in 1971, they both collaborated on the 70th birthday tribute to Fr. Maynard Geiger, which was published by the Friends of the Mission Archive-Library. The 1997 issue of the Southern California Quarterly entitled “Mission San Fernando: A Bicentennial Tribute” was edited by Doyce Nunis and includes a contribution by Msgr. Weber, as well as one by Norman Neuerburg. I could go on and on but I think that by now it is quite obvious why this year we are awarding two Norman Neuerburg Awards. On behalf of the members of the CMSA, it is a tremendous honor to bestow the 2005 Norman Neuerburg Award to Msgr. Francis J. Weber and Dr. Doyce Nunis. -- Rose Marie Beebe.

2004 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Dr. Robert L. Hoover


It is truly an honor for me to present the Norman Neuerburg Award to this year's winner, a wonderful person who is so deserving of this prestigious award. It is no surprise to anyone here tonight that this year's award winner is none other than Dr. Robert Hoover.

Both Californiana and scholarship come to Bob Hoover naturally. He was raised in Berkeley and San Luis Obispo. His father was a longtime Cal Poly Professor of botany and the author of the highly regarded Vascular Plants of San Luis Obispo County, California. Prof. Hoover (senior) was responsible for amassing a vast botanical collection for the University.

"Our" Professor Hoover (Bob) studied with the preeminent archaeologist, Robert F. Heizer at Berkeley. He came to Cal Poly in 1970 and became active in regional archaeology studies. He has published a number of works dealing with his research at Mission San Antonio de Padua, such as, A SPANISH ACEQUIA AT MISSION SAN ANTONIO, WINDOW ON A CALIFORNIA MISSION, and EXCAVACIONES EN LA MISSION SAN ANTONIO DE PADUA, ALTA CALIFORNIA.

In 1976, Bob started the Cal Poly sponsored Summer Field Archaeology School at Mission San Antonio de Padua. His students included prominent archaeologists such as Georgia Lee and Jack Williams. The school has operated continuously since that time and has been on the cutting edge of defining the field as its own discipline.

In 1983, Bob Hoover was appointed to the State of California's Historic Resources Board and served until 1999. He served as chair of the state's highest ranking historical agency. During this period, the office of State Historic Preservation Officer was often vacant, placing many additional burdens on commission members. Bob's superb "people skills" masterfully served the interests of historic preservation.

In 1984, Bob joined with Dr. Norman Neuerburg in founding CMSA. In May 1998, Bob joined Richard M. Ameil, Steven Hearst and Judge William Clark to create the California Missions Foundation which to date has funded numerous projects at each of the missions and has become the major source of lobbying on behalf of the California Missions in both Sacramento and Washington.

Bob Hoover's passion for teaching is evident: he has had such a positive impact on students, encouraging them to study archaeology and instilling in them a love of mission studies. As both a teacher and a scholar, he is a role model for students and colleagues. Bob Hoover is a scholar, a mentor, a teacher, a loyal and honest friend and a truly gentle person. As Don Quixote would say, Bob Hoover is a "Caballero," a true gentleman, in every sense of the word. We love you, Bob!

2003 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Edna Kimbro


During his lifetime, Norman Neuerburg was celebrated, respected, and honored for the depth of his understanding about many aspects of California's missions. He was perhaps best known for his scholarly contributions on architecture and artistic expressions. Norman also had a keen sense of the importance of the missions' role in California history, and that history as it related to the larger picture of world trends and developments. In 1999, CMSA created the Norman Neuerburg Award to recognize outstanding contributions towards the study and preservation of California's missions, presidios, and ranchos.

In recognition of her role as advocate for the preservation and interpretation of California's mission past, CMSA presented the 2003 Norman Neuerburg Award to Edna E. Kimbro.

Edna has been an active member of CMSA since its inception, and has worked tirelessly as a board member and in other capacities to promote the aims of our organization. She devotes incredible amounts of time and energy to raising public awareness of the many threats to the survival of the remnants of California's Hispanic past, and to devising real-world solutions to address those threats.

In the process, Edna has earned outstanding credentials as an architectural conservator from institutes such as the International Center for the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Properties in Rome (ICCROM) and the International Center of Earth Construction (CRATerre). She works closely with some of the world's leading experts and institutions in the conservation of earthen architecture. Edna also has a wealth of knowledge of a great number of California adobes reflected in many historic structure reports and similar documents she has authored over the years. Of particular importance to California are her contributions to the Getty Conservation Institute's project that has identified new, less invasive engineering solutions for seismic stabilization of historic adobe structures.

Edna had tremendous admiration for Norman Neuerburg, both as a friend and mentor. She worked closely with him on many mission-related projects, and is one of his most visible protégés. CMSA offers its congratulations to Edna E. Kimbro. – Rebecca Allen

2002 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Harry W. Crosby

2001 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Dr. Jarrell C. Jackman


At its annual meeting, CMSA was pleased to present Dr. Jarrell C. Jackman, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, with the Norman Neuerburg Award for his work in preserving and promoting Hispanic-period resources for the past 20 years.

Since 1981, Dr. Jackman has worked at Santa Barbara Trust, where his efforts have focused on rebuilding and interpreting the 18th century site of the Santa Barbara Presidio, including reconstruction of the Presidio Chapel. Dr. Jackman has overseen the presidio site's reconstruction, ensuring that interpretations are based on extensive research, including historic background information and archaeological investigations. Dr. Jackman worked closely with Dr. Norman Neuerburg on the chapel's design. The Trust's insistence on quality research has resulted in an excellent publication program and the establishment of the Presidio Research Center. Dr. Jackman wrote prefaces for most publications, and has also been an important contributing author.

Under Dr. Jackman's directorship, the Santa Barbara Trust has also acquired other important Hispanic-period resources. The Trust is responsible for the preservation and interpretation of the Casa de la Guerra, one of the most intact early California adobes, the Rochin Adobe, and the Santa Inés Mission mills and surrounding property.

As a result of the dedication of the Santa Barbara Trust, and Dr. Jackman's efforts, Trust sites have more than 50,000 annual visitors, who experience interesting and accurate representations of life in early Alta California. The Trust continues its commitment to its research and archaeological programs, support for publications, and public outreach.

CMSA offers its sincere congratulations to Jerry Jackman for being this year's recipient of the Norman Neuerburg Award. We would also like to thank Wayne Donaldson for his inspired presentation of the award to Jerry at the annual conference. – Rebecca Allen

Dr. Jackman recently received Spain's La Medalla de Isabela la Catolica. Click here to view the video of the Medal presentation.


2000 Neuerburg Award Recipient
Dr. John R. Johnson


This is the first presentation of the newly established Norman Neuerburg Award for outstanding scholarship in the study of California's mission era heritage in honor of the late Dr. Norman Neuerburg, renowned for his extensive study of California mission history and decorative arts.

Dr. John R. Johnson, Curator of Anthropology for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has spent more than two decades studying the rich archive of California mission documents, many of them conveniently found at the Santa Barbara Mission Archive just down the street from his museum. John has focused most heavily on the story of the Indians at the missions. In so doing he has helped many Indian people learn more of their own genealogy and connections not simply to the missions but to their own culture. In recent years he has been involved in major projects for the National Park Service and other federal entities to help recreate a map of Chumash villages extending from Paso Robles to Los Angeles County as it would have been in 1769.

However, the specific accomplishment that stood out in the decision to present this award to John was done outside of Chumash territory. While working on a project associated with the Camp Pendleton Marine Base in San Diego County, John and a colleague painstakingly recreated a version of the missing baptismal record of Mission San Luis Rey. The absence of this crucial record had been a major loss not only for researchers but for the descendents of the mission neophytes of Mission San Luis Rey. Using two of the existing padrones, or censuses, it was possible to re-establish much of the information that would have been in the missing document.
–Glenn Farris