Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Martin J. Svaglic Award





Many of Professor Martin Svaglic's students and colleagues remember him as the consummate gentleman. Besides being a fair assessment of his character, it is also fitting because Dr. Svaglic's copious scholarship focused heavily on John Henry Cardinal Newman, a man well known for exemplifying gentlemanly behavior.

Professor Svaglic was very closely connected to the Chicago scene, both academically and personally. He took his BA (1938) and his MA (1940) from Loyola University Chicago and completed his doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1949. He began teaching at Loyola in 1938, quickly emerging as one of two very distinguished scholars in the English department at a time when scholarship was of less importance, and heavy teaching loads were more common. His distinguished colleague in those years was Fr. Edward L. Surtz, S.J.

Dr. Svaglic was a stately professor with the mild sense of humor, whose lectures were mesmerizing for their logical and factual fascination. He taught Victorian literature for 45 years, while publishing substantially in the most prestigious periodicals, including Victorian Studies, PMLA, Modern Philology and Fiction Studies. He is particularly known for his work on the Oxford Movement and was considered an authority on the lives of those intellectuals who converted to Catholicism during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His specialization in the works and on the life of Cardinal Newman resulted in an edition of Newman's Idea of a University (Rinehart & Co., 1960) and of the Apologia pro Vita Sua (Oxford, 1967).

The Martin Svaglic Endowment

On his death, Dr. Svaglic left an extremely generous bequest to Loyola. Some of that money now funds undergraduate scholarships in the humanities and is administered by the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. A separate endowment supports various programs in the English department that he loved so dearly and served so well: public programming, undergraduate prizes and faculty research support grants.

The Martin Svaglic Prize

In Dr. Svaglic's memory, the department awards a prize annually to a School of Continuing and Professional Studies (returning or non-traditional) student who has excelled in his or her English studies. Graduating seniors are nominated by members of the faculty.