March 29: Reception, lecture by emeritus award winner

PULLMAN, Wash. – Albert J. von Frank will receive the 2017 Washington State University Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Award and will deliver the associated address, “Science and Poetry in the Modern University,” followed by a reception, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, in Todd 125.

He will be among those honored during WSU’s annual Showcase Celebrating Excellence Recognition Banquet on Friday, March 31. Reservations for the banquet are being accepted through March 17 at

The award is given for sustained contributions to academia, continued service to the university, community and mankind, and personal accomplishments in retirement that serve as a role model for other retirees. Learn more about the award, including past recipients, at

Von Frank, professor emeritus of English and American studies, retired in 2006 after joining the WSU faculty in 1984. He is an internationally recognized scholar of 19th century American literature and culture with a particular interest in Ralph Waldo Emerson.

He authored the landmark historical and cultural study, “The Trials of Anthony Burns: Freedom and Slavery in Emerson’s Boston,” in 1998, and “An Emerson Chronology,” in 1994 followed by an expanded edition in 2016. He co-edited works about Emerson’s poetry and sermons.

In retirement, his scholarship has continued with his co-editorship in 2011 of the ninth volume of “Emerson’s Collected Works: The Poems: A Variorum Edition,” followed in 2015 by a selected reader’s edition of “Ralph Waldo Emerson: The Major Poetry.”

From 1988 to 2006, von Frank edited or co-edited ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance, which is the WSU English department’s premier scholarly journal. A colleague called this work, “one of the profession’s leading journals and one of the best records we have of the directions this generation has taken in the study of American romanticism.”

In addition to the address by the recipient of the Emeritus award and the banquet, Showcase includes the Distinguished Faculty Address (March 30), the Academic Showcase display of research, scholarship and creative work (March 31) and other events. Find a schedule at