Joseph Medicine Crow had a knack for making history.
He was the first member of the Apsáalooke (Crow) to earn a master’s degree. He became the tribe’s last war chief in recognition of heroic actions while fighting for the U.S. Army during World War II. Medicine Crow was a tribal historian for the Apsáalooke (Crow) Nation for more than 50 years, publishing seminal and influential works about Native American history and culture.
So, it’s fitting that the late USC alumnus now has a prominent and lasting place in his alma mater’s history after university leaders announced the naming of the Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow Center for International and Public Affairs. Medicine Crow completed his master’s degree in anthropology while on scholarship at USC in 1939 and received an honorary doctorate in 2003 — one of four honorary doctorates awarded throughout his life. He died in April 2016 at age 102.
Naming the building — and establishing a scholarship program — in his honor pays tribute to his life and legacy and ensures future generations of students have the opportunity to learn his remarkable story.
Carol L. Folt
A scholarship made it possible for Medicine Crow to attend USC as a graduate student. USC President Carol L. Folt plans to pay his legacy forward with a scholarship program for Native American students in his name that represents the principles echoed in this recognition today.
“Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow was an ambassador and bridge builder who used education to create intercultural understanding and promote collaboration between peoples and communities,” Folt said. “Likewise, this building is an important nexus of interdisciplinary study that unites people across differences. Naming the building — and establishing a scholarship program — in his honor pays tribute to his life and legacy and ensures future generations of students have the opportunity to learn his remarkable story.”
Located in the heart of the University Park Campus, the historic building has been home to programs in anthropology, art history, international relations, political science, globalization and applied social sciences. Its tower bears one of USC’s most visible landmarks, the stylized globe.
Learn more about Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow and the naming process on USC News.