Mary Suzanne Schriber
During her 33 year career at Northern Illinois University, Professor Mary Suzanne Schriber enhanced the climate for women on campus by adopting gender as a fundamental category of literary analysis. Accordingly, she revised traditional American literature course offerings (both undergraduate and graduate) to include the work of forgotten women writers, and she examined the impact of gender on the work of both male and female writers. Professor Schriber designed courses with such titles as Feminist Theory and Women’s Literature, American Women’s Lost Genres, Four Women Writers Writing, Gender and Genre: Travel Books of American Women, and The Women of Henry fames. She taught classes in Amcrican writers and literary analysis in China at the Xian Foreign Languages Institute, and she was an invited lecturer on American women writers in Norway at the University of Oslo. She directed eight dissertations and served on numerous dissertation committees. In addition to conference papers, she delivered at least 17 public lectures on topics related to women’s literature under the auspices of organizations such as the NIU Colloquium, Friends of the NIU Library, and the DeKalb Chapter of the American Association of University Women. Professor Schriber published two books on American women travelers; a book on the impact of gender on the novels of five American writers, male and female; an edition of Edith Wharton’s A Motor-Flight Through France; a co-authored edition of the travels of an American woman journalist; and numerous journal articles and contributions to essay collections on novels and travel writing. Professor Schriber was awarded the Liberal Arts & Science Excellence in Teaching Award in 1991 and the NIU Presidential Teaching Professorship in 1992. This endowment is established in honor of Professor Schriber’s mother, A. Marie Jeannot Schriber (1907-2002). Marie’s life was characteristic of the lives of many women of her time: a college graduate (Western Michigan Normal School, now Western Michigan University) who taught elementary school until she married and became a homemaker. Between college and marriage, Marie took every opportunity to live widely. She loved to tell of her early visits to speakeasies; of her travels in a jalopy from Michigan to the West in 1929, working rodeos along the way; and of her French Canadian ancestors. Marie was also an excellent teacher and mother who was devoted to her children and lived her life with an irrepressible joie de vivre. Professor Schriber attributes to her mother’s influence the interests and passions that have energized and enriched her own life: intellectual curiosity, love of teaching, of travel, of the French language and of France, of home, and of life lived with enthusiasm.