Susan W. Schofield receives inaugural oral history award

December 21, 2018
Pat Devaney, Susan Schofield, Jan Thomson

Susan Ward Schofield, ’66, an accomplished oral historian and a chief force in the revitalization and growth of the Stanford Historical Society Oral History Program since 2006, is the recipient of the inaugural Susan W. Schofield Oral History Award for excellence in the practice of oral history.

Schofield was the chair of the SHS Oral History Committee from 2006 to 2018, after retiring from a career of over thirty years in the Stanford administration. Since relaunching the oral history program in 2006, she has conducted over twenty interviews and edited many more oral history transcripts, while also shepherding the conceptualization and development of new oral history projects.

Jan Thomson, co-chair of the Oral History Committee, and Pat Devaney, long-time member of the committee, presented the inaugural award at a September event for program volunteers. They recognized Schofield for “her energetic leadership…her care and sensitivity in conducting oral histories of Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni, her mentorship of program staff and volunteers, and her devotion to the preservation and dissemination of the history of Stanford University.”

Having been instrumental in establishing several university recognition awards, including the Amy J. Blue Awards, Schofield was “totally stunned” by an award created in her name and especially touched by the honor of being its first recipient. “This is particularly meaningful to me,” she remarked. “I just found a place where I thought Stanford needed something…It’s been a real delight. It’s been an oral history village that I’m very happy to be a member of.”

The purpose of the oral history award is “to encourage oral history at Stanford, to strengthen the collections of the Stanford Historical Society and the Stanford Libraries, and to recognize superior quality in oral history work.” Given annually by the Oral History Committee, the award will be adjudicated by a panel of archivists, historians, and oral history practitioners from the university.

Nominations for the 2019 Susan W. Schofield Oral History Award will be accepted beginning in February 2019. Questions about the award can be directed to SHS Oral History Program manager, Natalie Marine-Street at