Scholarship named after library dean

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When Conor Lansdale took office as A.S. president this fall, his agenda was not strictly to get the newly appointed senators settled.

Instead, after rumblings of a revered faculty member’s retirement, Lansdale spent his time working to create a new scholarship to honor the time Susan Curzon, dean of the Oviatt Library, spent nurturing CSUN students.

“Administrators start talking about retirement and I caught wind that the phenomenal Dr. Curzon was set to do just that,” Lansdale said. “I started writing a draft right away, looking to create a scholarship to honor her career at CSUN as dean of the Oviatt Library.”

The Dr. Susan Curzon Scholarship is a new scholarship aimed to aid English literature major, Lansdale said.

He said the recipient of the Dr. Susan Curzon Scholarship will receive $1,500 of the $131,000 A.S. donated to CSUN’s financial aid department to use within the many scholarships offered on campus.

“During my three years with A.S., she has always been a vocal and supportive advocate of literacy and overall bettering of students on campus,” he added. “We wanted to do something to acknowledge her contributions.”

Lansdale said A.S. works exactly like the federal government in the sense that the scholarship was initially presented as a bill, which went to the University Affairs Committee.

“The committee reviewed the draft of the scholarship that I came up with, did some research into Dr. Curzon’s time at CSUN and the library and then was presented as a resolution to the A.S. Senate,” Lansdale said.

The decision to pass the resolution and create the scholarship was unanimous, he added.

Over the years, A.S. has funded about five scholarships, Lansdale said. The Dr. Susan Curzon Scholarship is the third this semester alone.

Although scholarships are a collective effort, this one in particular is the “brainchild” of Lansdale, said David Crandall, general manager of the A.S. central office.

Curzon is currently in her last semester at CSUN, getting set to retire on Dec. 30 after almost 19 years as dean of the Oviatt Library.

Curzon said she believes librarianship is not just a profession about books but about helping people.

“It was once said that ‘libraries are the greatest gift the American people have ever given themselves,’” Curzon said. “I love to see our library filled with students researching, studying, reading and working together.”

Curzon said the announcement of a scholarship in her name was both a wonderful and delightful surprise.

As dean of the library, Curzon has worked with A.S. and said she is both honored and pleased to be the recipient of a namesake award that benefits those whom she has been so closely connected with as a faculty member.

Scholarships help students to stay in school and finish their education, which is the key to future success and a good life, she added.

“I have enjoyed the opportunity to work with A.S. across the years and have always been impressed with the commitment of so many students to our university,” she said. “Conor Lansdale and Neil Sanchez exemplify how dedicated our students are.”

As for her future, Curzon said she will hold many memories of her time on campus.

“CSUN is a great place, filled with so many wonderful people,” she said. “It has been a great privilege to be the dean of the library.”

Lili Vidal, director of financial aid and scholarships, said the first presentation of the Dr. Susan Curzon Scholarship is set to be awarded in Fall 2011.

Financial aid awards are closed for the semester, and the official website is undergoing changes, but students should check back regularly for deadline information, Vidal said.

“We are in the process of becoming the ‘Matador Scholars’ right now, but will have information regarding scholarships posted soon,” she said. “Students interested in applying should check back as early as April.”


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