Campus News

Staff Appreciation Day brings more than 3,500 together

The fourth annual Staff Appreciation Day was a time for many UGA staff members to join colleagues across campus for fun and fellowship. (Photo by Peter Frey)

UGA staff members gathered at the intramural fields May 10 for the annual Staff Appreciation Day celebration, organized by the Office of the President. In its fourth year, the event boasted an impressive attendance of more than 3,500 who stopped by for games, food and relaxation.

Coming the week after spring Commencement, the event was a way for the administration to recognize the hard work and contributions of staff.

“I appreciate the hard work our staff contributes each year to support this great university,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “On behalf of the university, thank you for all you do.”

For many UGA staff members, this event is a time to interact with others across campus.

“It’s a great day to get out and talk to others about where they’re coming from, the work they’re doing and why they’re happy to be here,” said Rebecca Mayo from the Office of Animal Care and Use.

Staff members showed their athleticism at field-goal kicking and pitching stations. Some even displayed their rodeo skills with the ever-popular mechanical bulldog. Live music by Back in Time and Tropical Breeze added to the ambiance, and Trump’s Catering served lunch. Attendees also had their chance at a multitude of raffle prizes donated from event sponsors, local vendors and on-campus departments.

At the event, staff members like Kelvin Howard seemed relaxed, happy and grateful to feel ­appreciated by administration.

“Hopefully, the administration keeps doing this,” said Howard, a member of Finance & Administration’s Facilities Management Division at the Chicopee Complex. “It’s a great event and gives us a break from everyday duties.”

Charles Clark, coordinator for event services at the Tate Student Center, agreed.

“I love being able to come out and celebrate the hard work that we all do as staff,” he said. “To the administration, I would say thank you for taking the time to plan and coordinate this.”

For those coordinators, the event is a labor of love that takes months of planning to see it come to fruition.

“The UGA Staff Appreciation Day event is an exciting way for the University of Georgia to say thank you to our outstanding staff members,” said Arthur Tripp Jr., assistant to the president and chair of the planning committee. “This event is one that our planning committee looks forward to every year.”

Michael Lewis, president of the Staff Council and IT support coordinator in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences’ geology department, was excited to see the event come to fruition.

“These events really are great for morale and for staff to enjoy getting away from the office for a little bit. I am sure it takes many, many hours of planning and hard work, so please know it is very appreciated,” he said.

The event was sponsored by Georgia United Credit Union, Kaiser Permanente, Valic, WastePro, Athens First Bank and Trust, AT&T, Fidelity and TIAA-CREF.