Dr. Susan Dollar remembered with memorial scholarship, program enhancement fund

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NATCHITOCHES – The family of the late Dr. Susan Dollar and the Northwestern State University Foundation have created the Susan E. Dollar Endowed Scholarship in History and the Social Sciences and the Dr. Susan Dollar Program Enhancement Fund for the Cammie G. Henry Research Center. Dollar’s brothers, sister, sisters-in laws, nieces and nephew and her wonderful family of NSU students and faculty undertake this hopefully memorable step with joy.

A memorial service celebrating Dollar’s life will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 4 at Dugdale Hall at First Presbyterian Church of Natchitoches.  She passed away in December 2021 following a lengthy illness.

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“Susan absolutely loved teaching and her relationships at the university, and it nourished her for the decades she taught there. She shared that love of teaching — and her countless horribly corny jokes — enthusiastically, and the love was returned by many students and friends over her entire career,” according to her brother, David Dollar.

After her parents, Jim and Katheryne Dollar, arrived in Natchitoches in the mid-1960s, all five of their children went on to graduate from NSU. Susan studied at Agnes Scott and in France before returning to Natchitoches and NSU. Upon graduation, she first taught French and English at Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport.  She returned to Northwestern for an M.A. in cultural resource management and history. Soon thereafter, she found herself digging and gigging for Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, where she earned a second M.A. in history. Somehow, the union of Louisiana and Texas led Susan to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where she earned a Ph.D. in history and made lifelong friends in a regional historical peer group, including work at the Clinton Library. To her and everyone’s pleasure, an unsurprising return to Northwestern State’s history department followed where she taught and lived for the remainder of her career.

In addition to teaching, she traveled the paths of the Underground Railroad and Freedman Bureau Schools, worked with the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches, the National Park Service, the Creole Heritage Center, the Cane River National Heritage Area, the Natchitoches Genealogy Association and many other professional organizations. She used her knowledge and love of history with hands-on research, service and love of what she did.

Susan was a lifelong member and Elder of the First Presbyterian Church, and following a lengthy illness and untimely death, per her wishes, her ashes were scattered in her much beloved Kisatchie Creek. Next time you’re out in the forest, listen closely for her laughter, her family advises.

The endowed scholarship will be presented to a sophomore, junior or senior student majoring in history, anthropology or sociology, preferably to provide support for an internship in those fields. The program enhancement for the Cammie G. Henry Research Center will be administered by the head librarian/archivist for the preservation of documents and organization of archival materials related to historic preservation within the Cane River National Heritage Area.

The family wishes to thank NSU faculty/staff Jill Bankston, Dr. Kass Byrd, Dr. Mark Melder, Dr. Megan Lowe and the late Mary Linn Wernet for their considerable help and direction in our efforts.

Friends who wish to contribute to the scholarship or program enhancement fund can do so at https://northwesternstatealumni.com/dollar-scholarship/ and https://northwesternstatealumni.com/dollar-enhancement-fund/.

Photo submitted by Dollar Family, as Dr. Susan Dollar considered herself the “Queen of History.”