The Perkins Lab -- Neurospora Genetics and Biology
Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University

More History of the Perkins Award

When the Perkins Award was established in 1995, those were happier times!  As a reminder and to make us smile, we have included below the original solicitation for contributions to the Perkins Award, sent out by Jay Dunlap and Jennifer Loros on behalf of the Neuropora Policy Committee. The many contributors at that time proffered tributes to David that are all the more touching because the writers knew that they were never destined for David's eyes. Some of these appreciations will now be revealed following the letter. 

 “- Stream of consciousness-

"So, anyway", says Dorsey Stuart, "Look, David's been so enormously helpful to

so many of us for so long,  we really ought to do something". 

"Yeah", we said, "Well, he gave the after dinner address at Asilomar a few

years ago, . . . But somehow that doesn't communicate the appropriate level of

appreciation, does it."


" It really ought to be something a little more permanent"

"The Neurospora Policy Committee is the right group to organize this," Dorsey says.  "How about a David Perkins Scholarship Fund to support travel for a student to the Fungal Genetics meeting or a similar meeting where people will be talking about

Neurospora.  I could kick it off with a contribution from my company."


A few months later, after some gestation, this was discussed with the August Director of the Fungal Genetics Stock Center, Prof. Dr. John Kinsey:

"So, Jack, this seems like a good idea.  The FGSC could help to administrate this,


Jack says, "Yup.  We'd be happy to.  Now, in order to be able to provide a

scholarship of, say, $500 every two years, we need to generate interest of $250

per year, which at a yield of 5% on the principal, means that we need a

principal of at least $5000. "

"No problem", we say, "Given the selfless manner in which David has given his time to the community over the years, people will be stumbling over themselves to show their gratitude."

And, we hope that you, dear fellow Neurosporologist, will.

Would you be willing to contribute to the David Perkins Scholarship Fund? 

When we conducted a straw survey on the Internet to determine the level of support, we suggested that a good rule of thumb might be to consider a gift to the Fund of whatever you make, gross, for a morning's work.  Be honest with yourself; you work hard, around 50 hrs a week and 50 weeks a year, so just take your annual salary, divide by 2500, and multiply by the number of hours between when you arrive and when you eat lunch.   Then get out your checkbook.


Time wise, our goal will be to have the scholarship money in hand and

the Fund established by the time of the Fungal Genetics Meeting at Asilomar.

We will keep, and give to David, a list of the names of contributors, but will

not list the amounts given.  We, along with Dorsey and Jack, compiled the mailing list, but suspect that some people who should have been approached were inadvertently left off the list.  Please feel free to ask them!

Please make checks payable to ….

Please send your contribution to …

**And, please, keep it a SECRET FROM DAVID for now.** 

Thanks and best wishes,


for the Neurospora Policy Committee……………”

This will always be a secret now from David and Dot so we can communicate and donate freely.

The way to contribute to the Perkins Award again:

Checks made payable to The Genetics Society of America with the fund name (Perkins Award or the FGSC Endowment) written in the lower left corner of the check, and mailed c/o Elaine Strass, Executive Director, Genetics Society of America 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Thank you,

The Neurospora Policy Committee.

Comments from Donators to the David Perkins Scholarship Fund when it was being set up in 1995.

Let me know if this falls short. (It is more than I’ve made by lunchtime, but David is special, I want to see this succeed. You’re doing a great thing.)

What a great idea!! It certainly fits David’s approach to fungal genetics and his commitment to education. Thank you for developing and organising this scholarship fund. David has certainly given more than one morning of his time to me, so I’ve enclosed a bit more than a morning’s salary.

I want to thank you for taking this initiative which I think is a very nice gesture to express our gratitude to David.

Good for you organising the Perkins Fund. I only wish that I had more to give because I cannot think of anyone who has helped his field (and me) more than David.

I am so glad that this is being done. We all owe more to David than we can even count.

I think this is a great idea and I hope you are totally successful!

Here is my contribution to the David Perkins Scholarship Fund. I copied the letter and sent it on to … … …

Great idea!

I think this is a great idea to honour David.

This is a terrific idea. Thanks very much for doing it. I am sending copies to a couple of other people … … … who may be interested.

What a great idea!

The idea of establishing a David Perkins Scholarship Fund is a great one! … … … I cannot resist making a contribution … … … I am good for more if the magnitude of the endowment does not match the greatness of the thought.

An excellent idea. I am please to contribute and have contacted a person left of the list.

Splendid idea!

I’m so glad you’re organising this for such a wonderful man – he’s an inspiration!

… … … forwarded a copy of your letter to me. I’ve known Dave (and Dot) since … … … and have enjoyed his good advice over these many years. Consequently, I am delighted to contribute toward the scholarship fund in his name.

David certainly deserves to be honoured for his contributions to the community.

It is a great idea… … …  We all know that David and his work has had influence on many outside of the Neurospora community.

… … … a small token of my indebtedness to Dave.



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