Maryville College recognizes staff service at annual luncheon

Approximately 175 staff members and administrators of Maryville College gathered at the Airport Hilton Aug. 5 to welcome new employees, thank outgoing members and congratulate others for milestone years in service during the college’s 15th-annual Staff Recognition Luncheon.

In his remarks to luncheon attendees, Maryville College President Dr. Gerald Gibson shared a quote from the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright: “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”

Praising the college’s staff with such qualities, he said, “There may be difficulties and distractions along the way, but it is that unremitting devotion to achieving what you’ve imagined that produces the success and satisfaction.”

Jennifer Hunt, director of human resources, began the program by thanking all staff members for their attendance at the luncheon and the work they do in supporting the mission of the college.

Hunt also asked attendees to remember two MC staff members who passed away in the last year: Howard Ferguson, boiler operator, and Cody Bowers, assistant football coach.

With regard to current staff at the college, Hunt praised their steadfastness and collegial attitudes. “One true example of our special community here at MC is that in times of crisis, we all come together to do what is right, support one another and get through the tough times. … Let’s not forget the good times we also had, focus on the positive and our lessons from the hard times and look forward to what the future has in store for us.”

Following the noon meal, each vice president introduced the new staff members working in his or her division. Staff Council Chairperson-Elect Eric Bellah recognized three employees, Kirsten Sheppard, Tony Ierulli and Becky Davis, who had been presented awards at Commencement 2008 for outstanding service during the 2007-2008 academic year. Bellah also introduced those employees starting, completing and serving terms on Staff Council.

Dr. Gibson presented pins, certificates and plaques to those who have reached (or will reach) milestone years of service as of Aug. 31, 2008.

Hunt reported that 13 staff members were celebrating five years of service. Five-year pins went to: Priscilla Stache, executive assistant to the vice-president and treasurer; Sue Waters, administrative assistant for the admissions office; Steve James, director of instructional technology; Wes Mikles, athletic fields specialist and groundskeeper; Kathy Pate, administrative assistant for the physical plant; Mitike Gebermichal, custodial services worker; Charlie Goodson, steam plant operator; Debi Jones, housekeeper; Lynell Parker, mail services clerk; Michelle Wilcox, assistant director of financial aid; Ann Walker Phillips, senior study editor; Stacey Wilner, coordinator of choral music; and Tony Ierulli, head football coach.

Security Officer Dean Tennant received a framed 10-year certificate.

Fifteen-year certificates were presented to Ellen Smyser, administrative assistant for the financial aid office; Jim Finley, steam plant operator; and Dr. Gerald Gibson, president.

Among those receiving plaques for 20 years of service were Andy McCall, director of the physical plant; Becky Wilson, director of telephone services; and Donna Holmes, housekeeper.

Members of the college’s 25+ Year Club were also recognized. They included: Martha Hess, registrar; Maria Hawkins, serials coordinator; Shirley Whitehead, housekeeper; Randy Lambert, head men’s basketball coach; Linda Moore, assistant director of admissions; and Kay Pritchett, student accounts manager and cashier.

Bringing the program to a close, President Gibson reminded luncheon attendees of former staff members - devoted and productive employees - who could be credited for much of the success of the college today.

“This college has been blessed over the years of its history with legendary staff members, people like Mr. Mac [E.E. McCurry] and Brownie [Ernest C. Brown] and Miss Clemmie Henry and Lombe Honaker and Viola Lightfoot, and Sharon Murphy Crane,” he said. “There are people here in this room whose names will join this roster because everyone recognizes that they show dedication, work hard and have an unremitting devotion to the things they want to see happen.

“On behalf of this college community, I thank you for the devotion that you show and the hard work you contribute every day so that our college may enjoy the kind of success that it has enjoyed since we held that first Staff Recognition Luncheon 15 years ago,” he added.

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