What: Washburn University and the Friends of Kansas Libraries are hosting an award ceremony to honor Dr. Gary Schmidt with the Outstanding Individual Award for his commitment to innovation in Washburn libraries and his service to Washburn students.
When: Thursday, June 21 2:00-3:00pm
Where: Mabee Library Living Room
Details: The Friends of Kansas Libraries chose Schmidt for this award because of his exceptional leadership and tireless efforts in transforming and advocating for Washburn University's Mabee Library. Schmidt has long been committed to the Washburn community of learning, joining the faculty in 1973 and beginning phased retirement after 36 years of service to the Computer Information Sciences Department. Schmidt served as interim dean of University Libraries for 18 months and has served as the president of the Friends of Mabee Library for the past 2 years. In these positions of leadership, Schmidt has helped shift the vision of a university library from a warehouse of books to an information commons centered on people—especially students.
Schmidt’s most visionary initiative has been the immersive classroom project. Convinced that technology-rich environments have the ability to transform the way professors teach and students learn, especially in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, Schmidt began pushing for the creation of new immersive classrooms in the Mabee in February 2017 and helped secure the necessary funding from Washburn. Construction of these spaces is set to begin in July 2018.
The ceremony will feature remarks from Dr. Alan Bearman, dean of University Libraries and Center for Student Success and Retention, and from Judy Burgess, president of the Friends of Kansas Libraries. The ceremony will be followed by a light reception.