Russ Campbell

As we announced in the March 2023 issue of TIRF Today, Russell N. Campbell, a founding Trustee of TIRF and a tireless advocate for language education worldwide, passed away on March 30, 2003. The TIRF Board of Trustees has now begun planning the launch of an endowment in his honor that will support the TIRF Doctoral Dissertation Grants program and help ensure its future.

Donna Christian, Patsy Duff, Dick Tucker, Kathi Bailey, and Ryan Damerow are the steering committee members tasked with getting started on establishing the endowment. “We are very excited to begin the process of establishing an endowment honoring Russ,” said Bailey. “He was a brilliant leader who affected many people’s lives.”

Russ completed his PhD in Linguistics at the University of Michigan, and then taught at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for many years, beginning in 1964. He was the first chairperson of the UCLA Doctoral Program in Applied Linguistics and the founding directorof UCLA’s International Institute’s Language Resource Center. He served as the TESOL President from 1971 to 1972.

Russ was instrumental in starting the Culver City Spanish Immersion Program (following the Canadian total immersion model), as well as the Korean-English two-way immersion program in Los Angeles. He later helped establish three English-language training centers in China, which led to early academic exchange programs. Margaret van Naerssen, who worked with Russ in China, remembered his leadership this way: “Russ had the necessary breadth of vision and the wisdom to draw on a range of professional input in shaping the programs.”

Russ’ influence was truly worldwide, as he was involved in English language teaching and teacher training programs (some of them through the Peace Corps) in Argentina, Armenia, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Rumania, Thailand, Tunisia, Yugoslavia, and the United States. He also strived to promote language education research around the world and was a driving force in founding TIRF, and for that reason, the highest-rated Doctoral Dissertation Grant (DDG) recipient each year is distinguished as the “TIRF Russell N. Campbell DDG Awardee.”

The TIRF Board members look forward to sharing more information about this new endowment as a way of recognizing Russ’s many accomplishments. For further information, please write to [email protected].