James and Sue Mellard
James Mellard arrived at NIU in 1967 and stayed until his retirement in 2000. During that time, he served the Department of English and the University in multiple capacities, most notable as department chair from 1978 to 1984; acting dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1984 and 1985; as head of NIU’s re-accreditation review from 1992 to 1994; and as interim athletic director in 1987, a position held by few-if any-other English professors in the history of the discipline. Students spoke frequently of his expertise, rigor and enthusiasm as a teacher of literature, writing, and critical theory. NIU rewarded Mellard’s excellence with the title of Presidential Teaching Professor. James passed away in 2014. He left his wife Sue and his three daughters.