May 25, 2000
Vol. 19 No. 17

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    Stuart Tave is honored with annual prize named for Norman Maclean

    By Arthur Fournier
    News Office

    Stuart Tave, the William Rainey Harper Professor Emeritus in the College and the Department of English Language & Literature, will receive the 2000 Norman Maclean Faculty Award at an Alumni Assembly at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 3, in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.

    “It’s very flattering to have this kind of attention, especially so long after my retirement,” said Tave, who received a Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1958.

    For nearly 50 years, Tave, a former Dean of the Humanities Division, Chairman of the English Department, Master of the Humanities Collegiate Division, and Associate Dean of the College, has devoted himself to his students and to the life of the University.

    The Norman Maclean Award recognizes emeritus or senior faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to teaching and the student-life experience on campus. It was named in honor of Professor Norman Maclean (Ph.D., ’40), who taught English at the University for 40 years.

    Tave––for many years a colleague of Maclean’s in the English Department––has had a profound effect on students’ lives both in their academic work and personally. Jay Schleusener, Associate Professor and former Chairman of English, remembers students in the College and at the graduate level often flocked to Tave for advice. “There was no other teacher here who held the attention of our students as he did,” said Schleusener. “And not just their intellectual but their moral attention, an attention that ran through and through them,” he continued.

    Since his retirement in 1993, Tave has continued to take part in seminars and workshops throughout the University. On occasion, he also has taught in programs at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago, in literacy programs at the Blue Gargoyle, in the undergraduate Fundamentals program, and in undergraduate and graduate English Department classes.

    The University recognized Tave’s influence as an educator with the establishment of a teaching fellowship named in honor of his retirement. In 1993, the Stuart Tave Teaching Fellowships were created to give promising Ph.D. candidates a chance to teach undergraduate courses on topics related to their dissertations. “It gives them the chance to design their own course,” explained Tave. “It’s a very good teaching experience that doesn’t exploit them.”

    One alumnus recalled of Tave: “He listened to each of us with a focus, a concern, a depth of what I can only call intense intellectual interest, which I will never forget. He made each of us believe that what we said was of such substance, that it was worth no less than the greatest attention he could give.”

    “As he would be honored by the Maclean Teaching Award, so would he bring honor to it,” remarked another.