Children always need to feel safe, protected and loved, and it’s our job as authors to help them understand this very complex world we live in and for them to feel comfortable in it.

Vivian Grey

The Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature honors the memory of RUCCL founder and long-time chair Vivian Grey. An author of nonfiction for children, an educator who taught writing for children, and a strong advocate for children’s books, Vivian was a visionary who conceived of this organization for children’s literature professionals in 1969, before entities such as SCBWI even existed. She lived to see the council grow, prosper, and become known nationally as the host of one of the nation’s pioneering and preeminent children’s book mentoring conferences. This year we mark the 54th anniversary of RUCCL and hold our 54th annual conference. Those who’ve attended previous conferences will recall that Vivian always delivered the official welcome speech, during which she relayed how she brought the proposal for a children’s book council to Rutgers President Mason Gross in 1969, a time of student unrest, national guard presence and campus lockdown. Vivian Grey was forward-thinking and realized that especially in troubled times, children’s literature could have a positive impact on the rising generation. President Gross saw the wisdom in her proposal and chartered the organization under the auspices of his office. And today, thanks to Vivian’s vision, a multitude of authors and illustrators have gone on to careers in children’s literature, countless books have been published, and numerous readers’ lives have been touched. As Vivian liked to say at each conference,

The vision that we present to children becomes the future.

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