The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s English Department Board of Visitors is pleased to announce that Peter (’65) and Susan (’66) Straub received the department’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award. The Award was presented on April 29th at the English Majors Reception and Awards Ceremony, an annual event for students, family and friends. Peter is an award-winning novelist and poet and Susan is the founder of READ TO ME, an intergenerational program that encourages parents to spend more time reading to their children.
Peter Straub is the author of more than a dozen novels as well as collections of shorter fiction and poetry. Two of his novels, Julia and Ghost Story, have been filmed and his books have been translated into more than twenty languages. He has garnered eight Bram Stoker Awards, more than any other horror genre novelist in history. He is also the winner of a World Fantasy Award and recipient of a Grand Master Award and Life Achievement Award.
Susan Straub conceived of the READ TO ME in 1988, as a way to encourage teen parents to read with their babies. The READ TO ME program has been taught in schools and community centers, featured in O Magazine and awarded many honors, including the Reach Out and Read of Greater New York Literacy Champion Award. Susan Straub has co-authored two books and an award-winning film about the READ TO ME program.
“Both Peter and Susan Straub have worked tirelessly throughout their lives to increase people’s awareness, excitement and passion around the importance of a ‘good read,’” says Caroline Levine, English Department Chair at the University of Wisconsin. “Each exemplifies the lifelong benefit of an English degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.”
Peter and Susan are founding members of the Board of Visitors for the UW-Madison English Department and together they received a University of Wisconsin Alumni Association Honoree Award in 2009.