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In Memoriam: Eva (Jorda) Schussek (1931-2017)

Eva (Jorda) Schussek leaving Vienna by train for her Fulbright in August 1951

Fulbright Austria is saddened to announce the passing of Eva (Jorda) Schussek, the legendary American Program Assistant of the Austrian Fulbright Commission, on September 18, 2017. “Frau Schussek” – as she was known to the some 1,400 U.S. Fulbrighters she assisted in the course of her thirty-five years of service from 1954 until 1989 – was instrumental helping generations of American Fulbright grantees get to Austria and get settled in Austria. Throughout the years, she advised them with great patience, concern, and good humor on the peculiarities of Austrian manners, mores, and institutions: before and after their arrivals and during their stays.

Her great facility for working with American grantees was due in no small part to the fact that she an Austrian Fulbrighter of the first hour herself. After receiving her Matura in 1949, she enrolled in the Hochschule für Welthandel, the forerunner of today’s WU Vienna, and applied for a Fulbright grant that brought her to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville as part of the inaugural 1951-52 cohort of Austrian Fulbrighters to go to the States. Upon returning to Austria, she joined the staff of the Cultural Section at the US Embassy in Vienna before becoming a fixture of the Fulbright Commission in Austria. She reflects briefly on her experience and her work at the beginning of the video documentary Fulbright at Sixty (at 1:52 and 8:11).

Upon her retirement, Eva Schussek was awarded the Decoration of Honor in Silver for Service to the Republic Austria. She will be remembered fondly by the Austrian-American Fulbright community, which is deeply indebted to her for serving so many grantees so well for so many years. She will be buried at the Zentral Friedhof in Vienna on October 10; there will be a requiem mass for her at the Paulanerkirche on October 19. The obituary notice of her family is below.

Claudia Janka, Eva Schussek’s successor as American Program Assistant; Karin Schmid-Gerlich (U.S. Embassy); Eva Schussek; and Trude Wild, Austrian Student Advisor (l. to. r.) at the centennial birthday celebration of Senator Fulbright in 2005
Eva (Jorda) Schussek was in the cohort of 1951-52 Austrian Fulbrighters who took the Italian ocean liner Saturnia to the States in August 1951.