Plymouth, N.H. –Plymouth State University has honored retired horticulturist Steven Sweedler with the Madie W. Barrett Award. Sweedler accepted the award at an April 26 ceremony. Sweedler retired in August, 2011 after serving the University for 35 years. PSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Julie Bernier said Sweedler started work at Plymouth in 1976; creating beauty in what had previously not been so.
“An incredible metamorphosis began to take hold,” said Bernier. “Each season on campus brought an element of anticipation for color, unusual blossoms and backdrops that any photographer would love. It became apparent that this undertaking had become a labor of love and one of a true visionary.”
Sweedler, who was accompanied at the ceremony by his family, said he was honored to be recognized for his work.
“It was always a great pleasure and I still take great joy in walking around campus,” Sweedler said. “Thank you so much for this award.”
Terry Downs of PSU’s Art Department said Sweedler’s vision, knowledge and efforts have made profound and positive changes to the Plymouth State campus.
“The impact of the physical space he created helped mold the shared personality of the institution, Downs said. “Because of his stewardship of the appearance of the campus, Steve’s work and artistry set a tone for all subsequent improvements to the campus. His efforts set a benchmark for quality in grounds planning, foliage and flower beds, pathways, signage, new architectural design and construction as well as both internal and external renovations to existing buildings. Steve Sweedler’s influence on Plymouth State University has been truly significant.”
Madie Ward Barrett was a teacher, scholar and Plymouth State benefactor. She taught French, Spanish and French literature, trained her students in pedagogy and was named Professor Emeriti in 1985. She also served as dean of the college and later served as interim president. She was widely honored, and noted for her dedication to students and to serving the community.
The award in her name is presented to a former member of the Plymouth State University community who has, in an extraordinary way, contributed to the advancement of the purpose and mission of the University, and who has made significant and noteworthy contributions in his/her field of endeavor. Furthermore, the recipient shall have served Plymouth State University for at least ten years but not in the period of one year prior to receiving the award.
For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU News Services Mgr., or call (603) 535-2775.