This semester, the RCS Department suffered a great loss with the passing of French Professor Anna Norris. This page is dedicated to the impact she made on the community with statements from the Chairperson and her students.
The passing of Professor Anna Norris is a loss that has many dimensions and affects many individuals and groups. In her life,teaching, research, Anna profoundly affected others and made their lives better and richer, whether she was sharing her knowledge with them or making an always amiable joke or personal remark. She brought great intelligence, preparation, professional dedication to the classroom or seminar room deepened and enriched by human voice and personality of profound respect for her students. Anna connected with students in ways that endeared her to them, made them realize how much she cared for their intellectual and social growth and how committed she was to that growth, and left them with the impression and reality of a truly special professor and exceptional human being. She will be missed, as she already is.
I first met Anna Norris in the fall of 2009 when I began my Ph.D. program in French at MSU. Though I had not set out to become a 20th-21st century scholar, I became passionate about women's experiences during the two World Wars after taking Anna's courses. Her vast knowledge, sense of humor, approachability and strong commitment to her students made her an incredibly inspiring professor. The wisdom she shared with me over the years as my committee chair and dissertation adviser, her candor and charisma and persistent encouragement were instrumental in my ability to navigate a long and arduous academic journey. I felt immense pride and joy in standing by her at graduation. In death, as in life, Anna continues to be an inspiration for those of us whose lives she's touched. May we continue to honor her by passing on her wisdom and emulating her generous spirit.
Professor Anna Norris was to me a professor, a mentor and an advisor. My most cherished memories of her are the days I sat in her office and she kept asking if I had read certain African Francophone books, or watched certain films, especially the Francophone ones. Her interest and knowledge on the African Francophone World awakened in me a thirst for he same, Africa being my continent, which saw me settle on my Thesis topic with her help. She understood my background and her encouragement was something I looked forward to every time to keep me going and aiming for even greater heights. We even agreed she would keep recommending more books and films even after I graduate. In all the chats we had, her care was so evident and I will surely miss everything that came with the great package that she was.