In Memoriam

Trevor Purcell (1945-2007)

Trevor Purcell, associate professor and chair of the department of Africana studies at the University of South Florida in Tampa, died late last month. He was 62 years old.

Professor Purcell was one of the more popular faculty members at the University of South Florida. He was known as the “chief” and called his students adopted sons and daughters.

A native of Jamaica, his father was a sugarcane farmer. Purcell dropped out of high school to work at a Nestle chocolate factory. After immigrating to the United States, he joined the Army and served in Vietnam. After his discharge he continued his education, earning a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University.

He joined the faculty at the University of South Florida in 1992 as an assistant professor of anthropology. He was named chair of the Africana studies department in 2000.