Dr. Guntis Smidchens, Assistant Professor of Baltic Studies, was awarded the ORDER OF THE CROSS OF TERRA MARIANA-4th Class, on February 23 in Tartu, Estonia, by Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, for “special service to the Republic of Estonia.” Smidchens was notified of the award on February 1 and flew to Estonia with his family to receive the honor.
Smidchens is the co-founder of the Baltic Studies Program at the University of Washington where he has been a faculty member since 1994. The Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana is given as a decoration to non-Estonians who have rendered special services to the Republic of Estonia. Under the leadership of Professor Smidchens, the Baltic Studies Program has become a jewel among the international programs at the University of Washington.
The Baltic-American communities join the members of the Department of Scandinavian Studies in congratulating Professor Smidchens for this distinguished honor and accomplishment.