Staff celebrated for 'vital' contributions

  • Employee Appreciation Day 2008Staff members celebrated with colleagues and friends.

    Employee Appreciation Day 2008
  • Employee Appreciation Day 2008Interim president Reveley honored Lawrence Charity, among others, for their service anniversaries.

    Employee Appreciation Day 2008
  • Employee Appreciation Day 2008For many, the day ended with a spirited version of 'The Electric Slide.'

    Employee Appreciation Day 2008

Hundreds of William and Mary staff members gathered by the Wren Courtyard June 26 to enjoy a picnic lunch, door prizes and the accolades of College leadership.

The celebration was a part of Employee Appreciation Day, an annual event where the College's staff members are recognized for their contributions to the success of the institution.

"I learned a long time ago that the work of the staff is absolutely vital to the health and happiness of an organization," said Interim William and Mary President W. Taylor Reveley III. "Indeed, most places would grind to a quick halt, a dead stop, if the staff suddenly headed for the hills. This is certainly true of the College of William & Mary. You all are vital, vital to what goes on here. And you do a marvelous job of holding this place together."

Anna Martin, vice president of administration, opened the event by thanking the staff members for their service over the last year.

"It's been a time of change and transition, and you've rolled with those changes with terrific grace and focus and determination," she said. "You keep this place moving forward, and I'm so, so grateful for that. Thank you for all that you do for the College of William and Mary."

During the lunch, Reveley recognized staff members celebrating their five-year milestone anniversaries – between five and 50 years -- with the College. He also presented special gifts to James Barbour and Thomasine Lewis, who were celebrating 45 years of service, and Lawrence Charity, who has worked at the College for 50 years.

Tom Meier, electrical technician for the biology and psychology departments, was also recognized during the event. Meier was this year's winner of the Duke Award, the College's highest recognition for a staff member.

During the lunch, employees enjoyed a meal of chicken, barbeque and other delights while volunteer faculty and administration members served them iced tea and lemonade. Some staff members also won doors prizes, including tickets to Busch Gardens and William and Mary parking passes. Employees who filled out evaluation forms received free Employee Appreciation Day T-shirts.

Though a staff member herself, Carla Costello, an administrative assistant in the Office of the President, volunteered during the event because she said she wanted to serve other employees. Costello, who is the secretary for the Hourly and Classified Employees Association, said she thinks that the event is a great way for the College to let the staff know how much they mean to the institution.

"I think that it's a good way to show everybody that we really are appreciated because, as the staff, we are the meat of the College," she said. "And, as the president said, the College would fall apart without us."