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Founder, Director of Northwestern Study Abroad Office to Retire

William Anthony will step down after 30 years as an educator and administrator

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Having overseen the creation of Northwestern University’s preeminent Study Abroad Office in 1997, William Anthony has enriched the educational journey of thousands of undergraduates who have since followed their interests abroad.

A devoted Northwestern lecturer and administrator for a combined 30 years, Anthony will retire this summer. Current Associate Director Alicia Stanley then will serve as interim director.

“Bill has had a tremendous impact in his teaching and on the study abroad community at Northwestern and beyond,” said Ron Braeutigam, associate provost for undergraduate education. “Through his dedication to the field and his collaboration with colleagues across campus, he has significantly expanded the scope and accessibility of study abroad opportunities, leading Northwestern to prominence in this field.”

International education at Northwestern flourished after the creation of the Study Abroad Office in 1997.

Along with the Office of International Program Development (IPD) and the Buffett Institute’s Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI), the Study Abroad Office has expanded the number of affiliated programs more than tenfold, broadening the original program offerings to more than 50 countries, and increased the number of Northwestern undergraduates participating in study abroad from approximately 100 in the 1997-98 academic year to more than 750 in 2014-15.

The Study Abroad Office, together with IPD and GESI, helped place Northwestern among the Institute of International Education’s Open Doors Report top 40 U.S. schools in undergraduate study abroad participation in 2012-13.

Anthony’s strategic vision contributed to shaping study abroad at Northwestern. While directing the Study Abroad Office, he established the University Study Abroad Committee, initiated the Study Abroad Risk Assessment Committee (now the International Risk Assessment Committee) and started the Study Abroad Research Program. Anthony also helped create and streamline guidelines and policies related to new program approval, program monitoring and the University’s first travel warning policy.

Anthony has been a leading voice in the field of study abroad, serving on advisory boards for national organizations, including the School for International Training Study Abroad, the College of Global Studies at Arcadia University, the Institute for the International Education of Students Abroad and the Council on International Educational Exchange.

During his two terms elected to the Council of the Forum on Education Abroad and his term as the chair and then longtime member of the Forum Standards Committee, Anthony played a central role in developing the standards and the code of ethics for the education abroad field.

Prior to directing the Study Abroad Office, Anthony was a celebrated teacher of German language and literature in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. In his first year at Northwestern, Anthony introduced two events, “Mystery Guests” and the end-of-year “Evening O’ Skits” in the German language program, both of which are now 30-year-old traditions.

With the support of noted German and Swiss foundations, private donations and Weinberg, he co-produced several innovative and influential cultural documentary videos designed for intermediate and advanced students, which featured contemporary portraits of former East Germans, young Berliners and a mosaic of residents in Bern, Switzerland.

In 1995, Anthony conducted extensive oral history interviews with Turkish migrants in Germany, funded partially by the German government. The recordings and transcripts of those interviews have been donated to two museums in Germany.

While a college lecturer in the department of German, Anthony served as the director of undergraduate studies and was the founding chair of the Council on Language Instruction. As a faculty associate and later associate master of Willard Residential College, Anthony taught tutorials on academic folklore. In 1995, he was awarded the University’s highest teaching honor, the Charles Deering McCormick University Distinguished Lectureship, in recognition of his outstanding teaching career.

Anthony expressed his deep gratitude for the many opportunities he’s been given to contribute to the life of this university and looks forward to spending time on the Maine coast, writing, painting and telling stories to his grandkids.

“We deeply appreciate his commitment to his students and to the University,” Braeutigam said.

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