October 28, 2021

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NIU Now | University invited to gather for remembrance of Anne Birberick

The university neighborhood is invited to acquire at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, in the auditorium of Altgeld Corridor to don’t forget the daily life and spirit of Anne Birberick.

Anne Birberick

These who knew Anne nicely recall her as an superb scholar, an administrator devoted to learners and a person with a zest for everyday living and an unquenchable desire to journey, have new encounters and meet new mates.

She died June 16, 2021, immediately after a lengthy fight with cancer.

Born and lifted in Mesa, Ariz., Anne was passionate about literature and journey from a younger age. After learning English Literature and French at Arizona Point out University, she pursued and earned her master’s and Ph.D. in French from the College of Virginia. Her specialization was 17th century French literature, specially fairytales and the work of Jean de La Fontaine.

She expended a yr training at the Universite’ d’Orleans, in France, and 1 calendar year educating at the University of Virginia prior to she joined the faculty at NIU in 1992 as an assistant professor in the foreign language section. She became chair of the division in 2004, holding that position for six a long time right before joining the provost’s place of work in 2011.

In her purpose as vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs she managed a remarkably numerous portfolio, claimed Chris McCord, who to start with bought to know her when he served as dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences and afterwards labored with her in the Place of work of the Provost.

No subject Bierberick’s function, he claimed, she generally place pupils first.

“Any time a university student had an difficulty, she worked tough to resolve it,” McCord mentioned. “She was hardly ever one particular to say, ‘I do not have time for this,’ or ‘That’s the rule you have to comply with it.’ The pupil did not always get what they needed, but Anne often tried to do all she could for them.”

Murali Krishnamurthi, who labored with Anne for most of her 7 many years in the provost’s business office, agreed. “Her legacy is really her appreciate of learners she took her occupation incredibly seriously. Regardless of whether as a instructor or as an administrator, she targeted on encouraging students. That was her pleasure,” he claimed.

That trait served propel her into the vanguard of endeavours to raise the university’s motivation to university student good results.

“She cared very deeply about creating absolutely sure that learners had the help they needed to do well, and that the learners and the institution shared duty for their achievement,” claimed NIU President Lisa Freeman, who was provost in the course of a great deal of Anne’s tenure in that office environment. “She planted the seeds for points that we are just now looking at appear to fruition.”

That commitment spanned the complete spectrum of college students, Freeman explained. “She wasn’t an elitist. Both of those honors and Opportunity are special-admit courses, but she never considered one much more vital than the other. I consider she laid the groundwork for the knowledge of what it usually means to be fairness-minded.”

Although those people who worked with Anne can convey to tales of the lots of results in she championed on campus, they also don’t forget her as a near mate who loved vacation, live music, dogs, great food, fantastic wine and very good times.

“In the Office environment of the Provost, we had a large selection of personalities, but Anne often discovered ways to provide men and women collectively,” claimed Freeman, who recalled how at charity auctions (commonly for TAILS Humane Society, wherever Anne served on the board) Anne would make certain she won the bidding for a night of bowling. She would then invite men and women ranging from those people who consistently competed in tournaments, to those who almost never picked up a bowling ball, and make it a exciting and unforgettable night for all.

Freeman suggests that Anne’s eclectic preferences had been also reflected in the tunes she loved. Just one weekend, the duo traveled to Ravinia for reveals by Pink Martini (which plays classical, Latin and jazz music), the von Trapp Relatives Singers and Debbie Harry. Krishnamurthi accompanied Anne to a person of her past dwell musical outings, an ABBA tribute band at the Egyptian Theater, the place she gleefully sang alongside to all of the tunes.

Maybe practically nothing thrilled Anne additional than traveling the entire world. Her locations integrated several Huskies soccer highway game titles, Norway, Chile, Easter Island, South Africa, Vietnam, Italy, China, South Korea, Costa Rica and, of program, her beloved France.

“She experienced a actual passion for all factors French,” McCord mentioned. “In 2012, my brother, sister and I took our mother to Paris to rejoice her 75th birthday, and Anne took place to be there at the exact same time. I have fond reminiscences of her enjoying tour tutorial for us. It was a serious satisfaction remaining demonstrated all around by an individual with this kind of a depth of know-how about the town and its lifestyle.”

Anne was often eager to share her adventures. Freeman remembers that Anne designed a issue of bringing again compact souvenirs to colleagues who seldom traveled, accompanying every single present with a take note that explained its significance.

Krishnamurthi said that inspite of Anne’s fondness for considerably-flung lands and her roots in the Southwest, she selected to remain in DeKalb for the reason that of her love for the pals she had made in this article.

Krishnamurthi and Anne shared an admiration of French cinema, and she even certain him to get 4 semesters of French to assistance deepen his appreciation of the films. And though both equally cherished to journey, their schedules in no way authorized them to go overseas alongside one another – but Krishnamurthi usually indulged his friend’s sweet tooth with sweet or chocolates he located in the course of his journeys.

The detail that will stand out in his memory, Krishnamurthi reported, are the very simple functions of kindness that outlined Anne.

“Every single working day, she would arrive by my business office and request, ‘How is Murali right now?’ Even up until the conclude of her ailment, she would text me just about every day to check up on me,” he stated. “To me, her legacy will be how much she cared about her friends, her learners, animals, NIU and the neighborhood.”

Anne is preceded in passing by her father Donald Birberick, her mother Delphine Birberick, her grand-nephew Oscar Griffin and her beloved canine, Cody. She is survived by her brother Richard, niece Brittany and nephews Richie and Donny. Her doggy, Payson, has joined the family members of Lisa Freeman and Doug Rose.

Anne’s family asks that those people wishing to make a gift in her honor take into consideration viewing the Sympathy Shop and contributing towards the planting of a tree.