EAD 2007: Nichol cites staff's 'dedication'

Service award recipients mingled with each other and with the president, Gene Nichol (c). By Stephen Salpukas.

Hundreds of the College’s classified and hourly employees gathered in the Wren Building courtyard June 6 to celebrate the service of their coworkers. As they did, they enjoyed free food, door prizes and the unanticipated bonus of being granted the afternoon off.

The festivities were part of William and Mary’s Employee Appreciation Day (EAD), which recognizes College employees for their service and dedication.

“You do remarkable service to this College,” said Gene Nichol, president of the College and host for the event. “You create the atmosphere which makes this amazing residential collegiate experience what it is. You do it selflessly, not always with as much compensation as we wish you had and sometimes under trying circumstance, but as president of the College, I am immensely grateful to you.”

During his remarks, Nichol recognized what was originally known as the Black Faculty and Staff Forum. “The Forum, as it’s now known, has for 20 years contributed powerfully to the success of William and Mary’s people and its programs,” said Nichol. He also acknowledged the employees who have worked for the College for a significant number of years, including 40-year-employee Roxie Greene, who works in the University Center. Nichol also recognized Capt. Ed Davis of the College’s police department, who previously had won the university’s 2007 Charles Joseph Duke Jr. and Virginia Welton Duke Award.

During Employee Appreciation Day, a total of 45 door prizes were distributed, including five that were awarded during the picnic event. Although the winners were cheered, the loudest cheer occurred when Nichol ended his remarks by giving the employees the rest of the day off.

After Nichol’s remarks, employees enjoyed a buffet that included barbecue and chicken while many of their supervisors donned aprons and served beverages to them.

“I work in HR and I don’t think there’s anything more valuable than our staff,” said Kathy Butuceanu from the Mason School of Business as she waited on one table. “That’s why I’m here.”

Gill Minor, an employee at the University Center, was the recipient of one of the most sought-after door prizes: a 2007-2008 parking pass. She said she always looks forward to the day’s events.

“It’s encouraging. It gives employees something to look forward to,” she said.

“I appreciate the day off, and I appreciate the fellowship,” said David Milby, who works in facilities management.

Judy Hodge, who has worked as a classified employee at the College for 39 years, is retiring in July. She said she has always enjoyed the appreciation day. “It’s just an opportunity to get together with the rest of the campus and sit with our group and enjoy the day,” she said. “The presidents are always grateful, and the food is great. There’s a great turnout today, and the prizes are wonderful. I’m going to miss it.”