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Gallery honors excellence of professors, chairpersons

A new display honoring Bradley endowed faculty members and Caterpillar professors was installed during Winter Break.

The Gallery of Excellence was unveiled Jan. 21 in the Cullom-Davis Library atrium.

University President Joanne Glasser with Interim Provost Robert Bolla and the President’s Cabinet developed the idea of the gallery, which consists of portraits of the designated faculty, to recognize the faculty and their contributions to Bradley.

Glasser said she believes the library is the perfect location for the portraits.

“The library is the foundation for learning at any academic institution, a place for scholarship and study … just the traits that our faculty exemplifies every day,” she said. “The library is the most appropriate venue to hang these portraits of outstanding educators.”

Access Services and Education Librarian Skip Burhans said the library is a university’s academic core, so it’s the ideal spot to recognize distinguished faculty.

“I think it’s a good idea,” he said. “It’s about research and the library is the center of academic study, so it’s a good fit.”

The exhibit took several months from idea to unveiling.

The faculty in the gallery were chosen for their service to the school, and it was created as a way to publicly give credit to them for that service.

“All of those positions are endowed and represent some of the extraordinary faculty on our campus,” said Shelley Epstein, associate vice president for communications. “The president wanted to find a public way to permanently recognize Bradley faculty members.”

Dating back to 1502, the position of endowed chairs have been a tradition at academic institutions. These endowed chairs help Bradley retain, attract and honor faculty members for their academic excellence and achievements to the school.

Endowed professorships are honored along the same lines as the endowed chairs. The professorships enable the faculty to continue to add to the intellectual aspect and reputation of Bradley.

Caterpillar professors are the final group of people to be honored in the gallery. Their contribution to scholarship and mentoring colleagues at Bradley are recognized by the Caterpillar professorships.

Executive Director of the Library Barbara Galik also said she thinks it is a wonderful tribute.

“I am honored that the library was chosen to house the Gallery of Excellence,” she said.

The gallery currently holds 16 portraits and additions will be added as more faculty members are honored in the upcoming years.

Senior English major Jamie Jones said she thinks it is a nice addition to the library.

“It’s a nice recognition of the people being honored,” she said. “These people all did something special and the library is where all studies begin.”