The Mothers Memorial Scholarship honors those who are or act as mothers to members of the NIU community by providing scholarships to upper-division and graduate students at NIU whose current activities and career goals include improving the lives of women.
In May 2004, NIU's Women's Studies Program (now the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality) endowed its first scholarship, the Mothers Memorial Scholarship Fund. Thank you to the associates and friends who made the 2004 Mother's Day fundraising campaign a huge success.
Scholarships were made available for the first time in the spring semester of 2005 to NIU juniors, seniors, and graduate students whose goals include improving the lives of women - through education, research, advocacy, support, policymaking, or other appropriate means.
The Mothers Memorial Scholarship Fund honors those who are or act as mothers to members of the NIU community. The scholarship offers an exciting option for creating a lasting memorial or recognition of the important women in our lives. We continue to accept contributions to the scholarship fund. When the contributions honoring a particular individual total $1,000 or more, a brief biography of that woman will appear in public materials describing the scholarships. Contributions of less than $1,000 recognizing a single person will be acknowledged by publication of that individual's name in the list of women honored by the scholarship.
Thank you to all of our generous donors (listed in parentheses)!
Helen Bogdan (1923-2004), mother of former NIU employee and alumna Nora Clark, was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1951 with her husband Alex and daughter Nora. She provided great inspiration for Nora through her positive outlook on life, her love of family and friends, and her spirit of fun and fellowship. (Nora and Harry Clark)
Louise Hicks Walker Doan (1920-2001), mother of NIU professor emerita Carol Minor, was born in Rutherford County, North Carolina. She was a registered nurse and served as a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps during World War II. For most of her career, she was the nursing supervisor at the Norris Biggs Clinic at Rutherford Hospital in Rutherfordton, N.C. Mrs. Doan was the mother of NIU Presidential Teaching Professor, Carole Walker Minor, Department of Counseling, Adult and Health Education. (Carole Minor)
Sharon Howard has served as an inspiration, coach and mentor to a few generations of NIU women (graduate students, undergraduates, and non-traditional students). She has been a mentor and friend to so many colleagues. She was the first director of the NIU Women's Resource Center (now the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center) and a recipient of the Wilma Stricklin Award. (Margie Cook, Anna Beth Payne, Michelle Bringas, Anne Kaplan, Kathy Hotelling, Sylvia Fuentes, Deborah Haliczer, Rebekah Kohli, Amy Levin, Lise Schlosser, Lois and Robert Self, Mary Sheldon, anonymous).
Barbara Saposs Levin, mother of NIU professor emerita and former Women's Studies director Amy Levin, lived abroad for more than twenty years in such places as France, Italy, England, India, and Japan. Since 1974, she has made her home in Denver, Colorado, where she has been active in numerous cultural organizations. She served as chair of the Denver Art Museum volunteers for two years and head of the Asian Art Association for one year. (Amy Levin, Chair, NIU Dept. of English)
A. Marie Jeannot Schriber (1907-2002), mother of NIU professor emerita Mary Sue Schriber, loved to tell of her close calls in speakeasys during prohibition in the 1920s, when schoolteachers (her profession) risked their jobs if caught drinking and smoking. Taking a risk and being ready for a good time were characteristic of my mother. What her friends and children and grandchildren most loved about her was her curiosity and her enthusiasm for new ideas. Even in her 90s, she continued to inquire about women's issues and applaud advances in women's rights. A practicing through questioning Catholic and a woman who adored being a mother, she wanted for other women whatever they wanted for themselves. She understood that feminism is the radical notion that women are people. She was a feminist. (Mary Sue Schriber, Frank and Mary Van Buer, Amy Levin, Liz and Reid Waldeland).
Mary Sue Schriber, NIU professor emerita, was a distinguished teacher and professor emerita in the Department of English at Northern Illinois University from 1967-2001. Her sister, Anne Schriber Huffstetler, writes, “At the age of 13, Mary Sue stood on a snowbank to catch a first glimpse of her newborn baby sister, held up for her to see from a hospital window. I am that baby. My dear sister has been standing with me ever since that cold December day in northern Michigan. She has loved me as a mother loves a daughter, guiding me, rooting for me, enjoying me. She has introduced me to respectful debate and discussion, literature, travel, and, best of all, laughter.” (Anne Schriber Huffstetler)
RRuby Alice Gunter Scoggins (1909-2002), mother of NIU professor emerita and former Women's Studies director Lois Self, was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, on February 24, 1909, and died in Durham, North Carolina, on March 15, 2002. She was the beloved mother of Dr. Lois Scoggins Self, who directed NIU's Women's Studies Program from 1986 to 1995, and of Shirley Scoggins Crouse, Donald C. Scoggins, and George R. Scoggins. Ms. Scoggins entered professional nurse's training as a young woman but was forced to abandon her studies to take care of siblings and an ailing mother. Many years later, at the age of forty-seven and herself then the mother of four, she sought to complete her training but was denied admission to a professional nursing program because of her age. Nonetheless, undaunted in pursuit of her goals, she completed a practical nursing program and had a successful career of nearly fifteen years on a surgical ward at Watts Hospital in Durham, NC, before retiring. She mentored many young nurses and earned their respect as well as that of physicians and patients. Ms. Scoggins' youngest child, Dr. Lois Self, credits much of her own inspiration and desire for a career serving others to the lessons of determination and the support she received from her greatest role model, her mother. (Lois Self)
Lois Self, NIU professor emerita and former director of the Dept. of Communication, and former director of Women's Studies, graduated with honors in history from St. Andrews Presbyterian College, earned a master's in American history from the University of North Carolina, and her Ph.D. in Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin, studying with top scholars of American history, rhetoric and public address.
At NIU, Self made lasting academic contributions through a co-authored textbook on multicultural communication skills, publication of scholarly articles, and presentation at dozens of conferences in the U.S. and abroad. She played a key role in bringing new scholarship on gender and feminist theory and methodology in rhetorical theory, film studies, developmental pedagogy, and gender studies into her discipline and to NIU.
After coordinating the university's oral communication skills program for educationally disadvantaged students for five years, and while continuing teaching and engagement in her own department, Self spent nine years as director of Women's Studies. Developing and expanding that program made it a model for university interdisciplinary initiatives and lead to her appointment as the first chair of the Provost's Task Force on Multicultural Curriculum Transformation. Significantly, she was awarded the inaugural Wilma D. Stricklin Award in 1995, for "exemplary leadership/service resulting in a more favorable campus climate for women."
After directing the Women's Studies program (now Women's and Gender Studies), Self was elected chair of the Department of Communication. To this day, colleagues, administrators, and alumni describe her as an exemplary university leader and role model: consistently honest, kind and optimistic.
Upon retirement, Self said, "It has been my privilege and honor to work with people deeply committed to improving communication in our troubled world. In ‘semi-retirement,' I look forward to continuing to build connections between alumni, faculty, staff, students, administrators and the larger community." In the years since she has done just that. At the behest of the provost in 2006, she led a year-long development seminar for faculty interested in academic leadership. In 2008, she oversaw the college's fiftieth-anniversary celebration; worked with faculty, staff, and alumni leaders to form a Communication Office for Liberal Arts and Sciences; and served as acting director of College Communications for two years.
Beyond the university, Self has also dedicated herself to serving the community. She chaired the National Communication Association's Women's Caucus, helped found that organization's Feminist and Women's Division, and received its national award for her "Outstanding Contributions to the Lives of Women in Communication." Locally, she co-founded the DeKalb Area Women's Center, served as a Girl Scout leader, and as an officer in the Sycamore Music Boosters. She volunteers and has served on the Steering Committee of Pay-it-Forward House, the community hospital hospitality house. Currently, she serves on the Board of Safe Passage, DeKalb County's domestic violence shelter and sexual assault agency.
Self has received numerous awards and recognitions for her contributions to the college, university and community but receives the highest praise from colleagues both past and present, who describe her as dedicated, even-tempered, positive, and innovative. (Robert Self, Lise Schlosser and Rebekah Kohli)
Roberta Tolar Skipwith Self (1910-2002), , mother of NIU professor emeritus Robert Self, was a graduate of Longwood College in Virginia with a certificate in elementary and junior high teaching. She taught in Norfolk County (Virginia) schools until marriage forced her to resign in 1939. Thereafter she was a homemaker and the mother of professor Robert Self. (Robert Self and Lois Self)