Chalkboard Champion Edward Diller

$RHWZUF0Many chalkboard champions have achieved accomplishments that have earned them international attention. One such educator was Edward Diller, an author and  professor of Germanic languages and literature at the University of Oregon.

Edward was born on December 15, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, the youngest of the six children of Isaac and Frieda Diller. The Dillers had immigrated to the United States in 1910 from Austria Hungary. Isaac worked in a hat factory, as did his two oldest children, Louis and Max.

During World War II, Edward served his country in the Marine Corps. When the war was over, he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1953 from UCLA, his master’s degree in 1954 from Cal State Los Angeles, and his doctorate in 1961 from Middlebury College in Vermont.

Edward began his teaching career when he accepted a position to teach German at Beverly Hills High School during the 1950’s. During the 1960’s he served as the foreign language coordinator of the Beverly Hills Unified School District. He joined the faculty of Colorado College before transferring to the University of Oregon in 1965. There he served as the director of the University of Oregon’s Robert D. Clark Honors College from 1972 to 1977 and the assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts from 1974 to 1977. While a professor at Oregon, Edward won grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation for projects in film studies and for attempts to open lines of communication, especially about the humanities, between Oregon Indian tribes and white residents. Shortly before his death, he and an Oregon colleague were awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to fund summer seminars for high school teachers at the Eugene campus.

Edward was also distinguised as a resident director of the Oregon Study Center in Stuttgart, West Germany, for the 1980-1981 academic year, was elected president of the American Association of Teachers of German from 1978–1980, served on the Executive Board of the Joint National Committee for Languages from 1979–1980, and became the chairman of the Selection Committee of the Federal Republic of Germany and the US Office of Education Grants in 1979. Edward also served on the board of Trustees for the American Council on German Studies in 1977.

Furthermore, Edward was a visiting Fulbright Program Lecturer to Germany in 1967 and received a Fulbright research grant in 1977 for work in Freiburg, Germany. He was awarded a Fulbright Research Professorships in Braunschweig and Regensburg and was named Carl Schurz Visiting Professor at the University of Dortmund in 1970. An active scholar, he wrote several books, articles and book reviews, and contributed to Spanish, French, and German textbooks.

This chalkboard champion passed away in Eugene, Oregon, on March 30, 1985, at the young age of 59.