- Bicentennial Medal (2021)
Carl Ziegler earned an undergraduate degree from Valparaiso University. While studying there, he also spent a year in Tuebingen, Germany. He then received a four-year fellowship to Vanderbilt University, where he studied comparative literature and earned a Ph.D.
Ziegler began his teaching career at Indiana University in the late 60’s as an assistant professor in Germanic studies and comparative literature. Ziegler focused on teaching students with English language deficiencies, using a composition-based curriculum comparing English/German with teaching concepts familiar to both languages. Ziegler was also a tireless advocate for minorities in the department, and for years, selected several individuals to study German intensively in Austria for a semester. Upon returning, they would often continue in language studies, creating a minority presence in the department for the first time.
Another role Ziegler held at IU began in 1990, when he assumed leadership as director of the Collins Living-Learning Center. The students involved in the learning focused residential program were all individually selected, and Ziegler took great care in sending a personal letter to every single one, inviting them to the center. Expanding on the living-learning center’s mission, Ziegler raised the semester program fee, effectively increasing the number of staff members dedicated to the students. Under his guidance, the center’s courses became cross-listed with the Honors Division and numerous programs were expanded, including the photography studio and ceramics lab.
Ziegler was actively involved in the community, and contributed to numerous charities. He served on the boards of several organizations critical to the area, including the Middle Way House, Monroe County Ministry and United Way and the Ziegler Family Foundation. He received several awards from the university, including the Mary Burgan Distinguished Service Award and the Bicentennial Medal, in recognition and honor of his distinguished contributions and service.