The staff of Central University Libraries are deeply saddened to share the news about the death of our wonderful and brilliant colleague, Dillon Wackerman. After a nationwide search, Dillon joined SMU’s Central University Libraries on August 1, 2016, as the Digital Repository Librarian. He quickly rebranded SMU’s digital repository as SMU Scholar and transformed it into a vibrant showcase of the University’s scholarly research.

It is hard to capture in words Dillon’s relentless drive to expand support for scholarly communication at SMU. He was a proactive advocate for Open Access and an emerging leader on our campus in developing strategies for strengthening relationships between the libraries and the campus community. He enabled faculty and students to exercise their publishing options in SMU Scholar and worked tirelessly with all contributors – faculty, students, and staff at every level. He continuously served as a dedicated advocate of Open Access, author’s rights, and the preservation of SMU’s academic output, and scheduled many meetings and training sessions in his professional endeavor.

His creativity in and exuberance for Scholarly Communications stood above the crowd. He developed and hosted conferences that captured the latest trends and thinking in this field. Librarians and faculty from around the region attended these effervescent events, which led to lively, professional debates and critical discussions on the future of library publishing and the free flow of scholarly information.

Dillon was a true professional with the highest standards of excellence. In a short amount of time, he rebuilt SMU’s digital repository at a breathtaking speed. Dillon was also a beautiful and caring person whom we will never forget. Central University Libraries is fortunate for having  known and worked with such a professional and kind colleague. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family in Texas and California.

For those of you who wish to donate funds for Dillon’s family to support them in the following months ahead, please go to: www.gofundme.com/dwackerman.