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Showcase 2021 Awards

Legacy of Excellence Award

Honor from the Emeritus Society

Recipients of the Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Award are role models for retirees. The award recognizes sustained contributions to academia; continued service to the university, community and mankind; and personal accomplishments in retirement.


Professor Emeritus Kiessling is an internationally recognized scholar of Medieval and Early Modern literature and culture. Since his retirement in 2000, he has shed new light on the lives and libraries of seventeenth-century antiquarian and biographer Anthony Wood and English writer Robert Burton. Kiessling’s 2002 The Library of Anthony Wood—a catalogue of 6,758 items—won praise as “a monumental and exemplary achievement.” His annotated edition of Wood’s autobiography adds detailed notes and a biography to Wood’s own life accounts. Kiessling’s research opened new perspectives on books printed surreptitiously by Catholics in England from about 1558 to 1800. His essay on the illegal transfer of some 20,000 such books out of England was awarded the UK CILIP’s History Essay Award for 2017.

Since retirement Kiessling has held a visiting appointment at Université de Haute Bretagne, Rennes, France, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar appointment in Casablanca, Morocco.

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Nicolas K. Kiessling

Professor Emeritus, Department of English

View Professor Kiessling’s lecture


Previous recipients

2020Donald Matteson
2019Diane Gillespie, English
2018Paul Barkley, agricultural economics
2017Albert von Frank, English and American Studies
2016Robert Ackerman, anthropology
2015George Hinman, agricultural economics
2014Norman K. Whittlesey, agricultural economics
2013James F. Short, Jr., sociology

Photos and biographies of recipients