Bergstrom memorial service is Dec. 6

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Bergstrom memorial service is Dec. 6

Robert Bergstrom, emeritus professor of English, died Oct. 19. He worked in the Department of English for 36 years.

Bergstrom will be remembered in a 3 p.m. Dec. 6 service in Bailey Library, 228 Andrews Hall. The service is open to the public.

Bergstrom joined the faculty of the Department of English at UNL in 1968 and retired as a full professor in 2004.

He earned his doctorate from Duke University and his Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University.

Bergstrom’s scholarship focused on 19th century American writer Herman Melville. He was most widely known on campus for the quality of his teaching and his leadership in the creation of the general education requirements.

Bergstrom won many awards for his teaching, including the Bereuter Distinguished Teaching Award in 1983. Between 1989 and 1999 he won nine awards from the UNL Parents Association and the Teaching Council. When UNL established the Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 1995, Bergstrom was inducted as a charter member. His teaching went far beyond the classroom and included mentoring and advising to students with academic and personal needs. He also received UNL’ Service to Students with Disabilities Award.

In the 1990s, Bergstrom chaired the University General Education Planning Committee, which created the general education requirements used for more than a decade.

He also chaired the Department’s Curriculum Committee and served on the College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Education Committee and the UNL Curriculum Committee. Bergstrom was also a member of the ADAPT Program for Freshmen and served as its director from 1996-97.

Bergstrom’s leadership in curriculum and teaching lead to his appointment as vice chair of the Department of English in 1999, a position he held until his retirement. In that role he had the responsibility of creating the schedule of classes each year, managing space and teaching assignments, and reviewing the annual teaching performance of all graduate students.

“Bob’s work was always thorough and thoughtful, and he was the best person I ever knew at delivering bad news with a gentle hand,” said Linda Pratt, former chair of English. “He really cared about the students, and they knew it. I considered myself very lucky as a chair to have Bob as the vice chair.”

In addition to his service and leadership on campus, Bergstrom was also active at the state and national level. He served as President of the Nebraska State Conference of the American Association of University Professors, and in 1993 he was elected by the Midwest region to serve on the National Council of AAUP.

Bergstrom moved to Colorado after his retirement. He is survived by his wife, Rosemary; three children, Robert of Fort Collins, Colo., Michael of Chicago, and Katherine of Lincoln; and a granddaughter Clara, also of Fort Collins.

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