Campus News

Staff to be recognized at first Appreciation Celebration

UGA will show its gratitude to more than 6,300 employees through its first Staff Appreciation Celebration.

The event will be held May 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at intramural field 1. It will include lunch, music, giveaways and interactive activities ranging from mechanical bulldog rides to a photo booth.

“Our staff members are vital to the University of Georgia’s success,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Through their commitment and dedication, we are able to move the university forward as an institution. This event is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to thousands of individuals who support the university in so many ways.”

Plans for a staff appreciation day started two years ago, said Michael Lewis, chair of the executive committee of the Staff Council, when wage and salary increases were put on hold at the state level. 

Lewis previously had participated in a similar recognition event and brought the idea before the council’s executive committee. They agreed, and with approval from Morehead, who “thought about the idea for about a millisecond,” Lewis said, “and was instantly on board,” a group formed in 2014 to turn the idea into a reality.

“I hope what this celebration says to our staff employees is that the university knows they work hard and knows that the successes achieved here happen in part because staff employees have a hand in it,” said Lewis, who is an information technology professional in the geology department.  

Lewis sees the event both as an appreciation celebration and as a way to build community at the university. 

This year’s Staff Appreciation Celebration serves as the culminating event for Staff Appreciation Week, designated by the president to take place May 11-15. During that week, other university departments will be encouraged to host unit-level activities to recognize and celebrate staff contributions.    

Parking will be available on site, with E01 reserved for staff with disabilities. UGA buses will provide service for the event, altering their routes to provide pick-up and drop-off locations throughout campus. 

A Facebook page for the Staff Appreciation Celebration has been created. For up-to-date schedules, parking and other information, visit or