PULLMAN, Wash. — A “significant public event” honoring Washington State University’s faculty and staff was a dream of WSU President V. Lane Rawlins.

Now, that dream has become a reality with planning for the first  “Celebrating Excellence: An Evening Honoring Our Faculty and Staff” banquet. It will recognize the university’s top faculty and staff award winners, as well as newly tenured and promoted faculty.

“I especially want everyone in the university community to mark this date on their calendar and plan to attend,” said Rawlins of the banquet, set to begin at 6 p.m. March 26 at Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum.

“This promises to be an annual event honoring and recognizing some of the most accomplished community winners in a meaningful way,” said Rawlins, who will preside and present awards along with Provost Robert C. Bates.

The banquet is part of the second World Class. Face to Face. Showcase weekend, March 26-27. During it, members of WSU advisory boards and volunteers groups will meet with Rawlins and other university leaders and help plan strategies for supporting WSU. Board members will attend the banquet.

Rawlins said the banquet succeeds the Faculty Honors Convocation, held for the past three years, and the Employee Excellence Awards reception, ceremony and luncheon, held since 1990.

A campus-wide survey showed faculty and staff preferred a banquet instead of the previous events, Rawlins said.

During the banquet, Fran McSweeney will be honored as the Eminent Faculty Award winner, recognizing her career-long excellence within WSU’s world-class academic community.  Also honored will be Ken Casavant, selected to deliver the annual Distinguished Faculty Address, the oldest faculty award at WSU.

Also honored will be staff members Maxine Andrews, Robert Force and Robert Hubner. They will each receive a President’s Employee Excellence Award, recognizing creative and innovative problem-solving, efficiency and productivity, and contributions to an improved work environment.

Other honorees – to be named later — will be:

  • those whose faculty rank has been elevated from full professor to Regents Professor, been tenured, promoted and named distinguished professors or to endowed chairs. 
  • the faculty member receiving the Marian E. Smith Faculty Achievement Award, recognizing significant and meritorious achievement in teaching.
  • the three faculty members receiving Sahlin Faculty Excellence Awards, one each honoring excellence in instruction, public service, and research, scholarship and arts.

Newly tenured and promoted faculty, award recipients and one guest each will be hosted by the university at the banquet.

On March 27, starting at 8 a.m. Preview for Juniors will be held as part of Showcase. During a campus-wide open house, current high school juniors and their parents will meet with WSU faculty, learn about university academic programs and take part in other activities.

Reservations for the March 26 “Celebrating Excellence: An Evening Honoring Our Faculty and Staff” banquet are required and may be made through the WSU Conference and Professional Programs Web site at http://www.capps.wsu.edu/showcase. For those without Web access, Conferences and Professional Programs can be reached by telephone at (509) 335-3530 or (800) 942-4978.

For additional information about Showcase weekend, contact Tena Old, WSU Marketing Communications, at (509) 335-1467 or e-mail at skeen@wsu.edu.