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Susan W. Schofield Oral History Award

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From left: Patricia Devaney, Susan Schofield, Jan Thomson

Established in 2018, the Susan W. Schofield Oral History Award is given annually by the Stanford Historical Society Oral History Program for excellence in the practice of oral history. Its purpose is to encourage oral history at Stanford University, to strengthen the collections of the Stanford Historical Society (SHS) and the Stanford Libraries, and to recognize excellent quality in oral history work. 

The award’s first recipient and its namesake is Susan Ward Schofield (class of 1966) who spent over three decades of her career in the Stanford University administration. Schofield has served numerous terms on the board of the Stanford Historical Society, including two years as its president and three as its vice president. An accomplished oral historian, she chaired the Oral History Committee from 2006-2018 and was a chief force in the revitalization and growth of the Oral History Program that began in 2006.

Past Schofield Award Recipients

Nomination Requirements

  • To be considered for the award, nominees should demonstrate skill in one or more facets of the oral history process, including project planning and coordination, interviewing, post-interview processing and archiving, and collection development and outreach. Those involved in developing or implementing technological, procedural, or educational techniques that improve the practice of oral history at Stanford may also be considered for the award.
  • Any oral history efforts related to the history of Stanford University and its faculty, staff, or students/alumni will be considered, regardless of the sponsoring organization.
  • The oral history materials for which a nominee is being considered must be deposited in the Stanford Libraries.
  • Nominees may include, but are not limited to, Stanford students and alumni, current and retired faculty and staff members, and other individuals affiliated with the university. Groups or individuals may be nominated for the award.
  • A nomination letter that includes a summary of the nominee's oral history work and how it addresses the selection criteria (below), in addition to links to supporting materials (e.g. interview transcripts and/or recordings, project websites, podcasts, etc.). If a nominee’s oral history work includes numerous interviews, the nomination letter must include a list of particularly outstanding interviews for the selection committee to review. The list should be comprised of no more than three long-form oral history interviews, or five short-form oral history interviews (typically 60 minutes or less). The committee may, however, elect to review additional oral history work by the nominee in making its decision.

Selection Criteria

  • Overall quality of the oral history interview materials resulting from the nominee’s efforts.
  • Demonstration of exceptional skill, sensitivity, innovation, and/or dedication in conducting oral history interviews or preparing materials for deposit and use.
  • Unique contribution to the understanding of Stanford University’s history.

Selection Panel

A panel of three to six individuals well-versed in the practice of oral history will consider the nominations and select the awardee. Ideally, the panel will be comprised of the Oral History Program Manager, at least one member of the Oral History Committee, the University Archivist, and other individuals with expertise in oral history or Stanford history as determined by the Oral History Committee. The panel may elect not to select an awardee in any given year.


Name inscribed on a perpetual plaque of award winners; award certificate; recognition at the SHS Annual Members’ Meeting and on the SHS website.

Deadline and Time Frame

The nomination letter and accompanying materials must be submitted to Natalie Marine-Street at no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, April 1st, 2024. The award winner will be announced at the annual meeting of the Stanford Historical Society, typically held in mid-May.

Image: (from left) Patricia Devaney, Susan Schofield, Jan Thomson. (credit: Natalie Marine-Street / Stanford Historical Society)