Campus News

Holiday Staff Appreciation celebrates spirit of the season

Brenda Robbins from the Science Library takes a selfie with Hairy Dawg during the 2018 Holiday Staff Appreciation Reception. (Photo by Peter Frey/UGA)

All was merry and bright at the Holiday Staff Appreciation Reception, held Dec. 18 in Tate Grand Hall.

The event, hosted by the Office of the President, celebrated the spirit of the holiday season while showing appreciation for the diligent work of staff members during 2018.

“The end of the year is a time to reflect on how much we have accomplished, and much of that is because of the hard work of our staff members,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “We are grateful for everything the staff does to continue moving this great institution forward.”

Shawn Lanphere, an administrative associate in the School of Law, enjoyed having a few minutes to relax with her colleagues.

“It’s very inspiring,” she said. “Usually it’s a stressful time for people, coming up to the holidays. Everybody’s worried about family, travel and everything else, and this takes your mind off the stresses. You get the feeling of being appreciated.”

More than 500 staff members attended the reception. Another highlight was the opportunity to cheer on the men’s basketball team as they defeated Oakland, 81-69. UGA Athletics provided the complimentary tickets on a first-come, first-served basis.

“My husband is a huge basketball fan, so for the university to provide tickets to a really cool game definitely makes me feel appreciated,” said Maggie Fitzsimmons, coordinator for facilities in Recreational Sports.

The basketball game also was a draw for James Addison, assistive technology lab technician in the Disability Resource Center, who attended a staff appreciation event for the first time.

“It shows camaraderie and friendship,” he said. “It’s a good place to work, and you feel like you belong.”

Fitzsimmons agreed. “It’s nice to branch out and see people from different departments and interact with people we don’t get to on a daily basis,” she said.