College of Education and Human Development

Student Awards & Recognition

Pestalozzi portraitThe Pestalozzi Awards

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, born in Zurich, Switzerland on January 12, 1746, has often been considered the Father of Modern Education. In recognition of his efforts to enhance education, champion the needs of the underprivileged, honor the individual, and give dedicated service to humanity, the Pestalozzi Awards were established in 1966 to pay tribute to College scholars who exemplified these characteristics.

Morris Shirts, former Dean of the College of Education, penned the following words about Pestalozzi:

To Pestalozzi

Teacher of the unteachable,
Father of the fatherless,
Lover of the unloved,
Humble of the unhumbled. . .

With complete conviction of his own ideals,
With ultimate faith in all of God’s children,
With powerful dedication against falseness,

He set out to demonstrate:
The nobleness and the potential
Of individual man.

Believer in mankind,
Champion of the underprivileged,
Motivator of the disenchanted,
Rekindler of the spark of life. . .

He restored the dignity of noble spirits,
He restored a re-examination of the teaching,
He restored respect and worthiness of men.

With little recognition by his contemporaries:,
He earned the eternal gratitude,
Of countless generations.