Grand Opening for Texas: Vanishing Habitats and Species

David J. SchmidlyThe free grand opening is Thursday, August 29th, at 6PM featuring Dr. David Schmidly, a renowned expert on Texas natural history, followed by a reception and gallery viewing.

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Biography of Dr. David J. Schmidly

David J. Schmidly was born and raised on a cotton farm near Levelland in west Texas.  Dr. Schmidly was a first generation college student and the first member of his family to attend and graduate from college.  He received his B.A. and M.S. degrees from Texas Tech (1962-1968) and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois (1968-1971), all in Biology and Zoology.  Dr. Schmidly has been recognized as a distinguished alumnus at both of these institutions.

Dr. Schmidly served as President of the University of New Mexico from 2007-2012.  Previously he had served as President and CEO of Oklahoma State University (2003-2007) and Vice President of Research, Dean of the Graduate School, and President at Texas Tech (1996-2003).  Dr. Schmidly started his academic career at Texas A&M University in 1971 where he served as head of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences (1986-1992) and Chief Executive Officer and Campus Dean at Texas A&M University at Galveston (1992-1996).

Dr. Schmidly has served on many higher education boards, including the Executive Committee of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP); the Council of Presidents, Association of University and Colleges (AGB); the Board of Directors, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU); and the Board of Directors, American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).

Dr. Schmidly is a strong advocate and supporter of college athletics and its importance in the American way of life.  He served for several years as a Director and member of the Executive Committee of the NCAA, and for two years he was Chairman of the Board of the Big 12 Athletic Program during a time of unprecedented growth and achievement.  At Texas Tech, he hired Bob Knight at the men’s basketball coach – a move that proved to be tremendously successful.

Dr. Schmidly is an internationally respected researcher and scientific author and has been inducted into the Texas Hall of Fame for Science, Mathematics, and Technology, which recognizes Texans who have played a major role in significant scientific accomplishments.  As a noted scientific naturalist, he has authored nine natural history and conservation books and more than 100 scientific articles.  In addition, Dr. Schmidly received a very prestigious honor when a new species of mouse was named after him – Peromyscus schmidlyi.  Quite possibly, he is the only university president with this distinction!   Recently, Dr. Schmidly was selected as an honorary member of the American Society of Mammalogists (ASM) which is the most prestigious recognition awarded by that scientific society.

Dr. Schmidly and his wife of 47 years, Janet Knox Schmidly, live in Placitas, New Mexico, and are the parents of two grown children