This year’s recipient of the Stuart D. and Vernice M. Gross Award for Literature is author Hendrik Meijer for his work “Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American Century.”
The award was started in 1994 by Stuart D. Gross and his wife to recognize local authors. Gross worked as a journalist with The Saginaw News and was a regional historian. Due to his deep connection to Michigan literature, Gross’ award has perpetuated as an exceptional honor for authors native to the Great Lakes State.
When selecting a recipient, the selection committee assesses a list of 20 notable books that the Michigan Department of Education and the Library of Michigan issue annually. Two or more committee members are assigned to read each shortlisted book and, after further deliberation, the committee selects the year’s honoree.
Carlos Ramet, the associate dean in the College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences and the chair of the award’s selection committee, appreciated the thoroughness of Meijer’s research, which made his book stand out.
“I think the book is a very balanced assessment of Vandenberg,” Ramet said. “It shows both his strengths and his weaknesses, what allowed him to engage some of the major national and international issues of his day and what kept him grounded.”
For Ramet, the literature award provides an opportunity to recognize authors within the community.
“The award demonstrates SVSU’s community-minded commitment to the arts and humanities, to literature and to recognizing outstanding achievements in those areas,” Ramet said. “It is one of several SVSU awards and initiatives that support that mission.”
The award will be presented to Hendrik Meijer during the winter 2019 semester. During his campus visit, Meijer will meet with SVSU students and attend classes.