Campus News

Big ‘Thank you’

Staff Appreciation 2015-h. bulldog
Heather Roberts

Thousands enjoy university’s first-ever Staff Appreciation Day

Editor’s note: Watch a video from Staff Appreciation Day at

UGA said “thank you” to its staff with its first Staff Appreciation Day May 15 at the intramural fields. The celebration included free food, games, music and prizes—but most importantly, it was an opportunity for employees to come together to relax and socialize.

About 4,000 employees accepted the gesture of appreciation by turning out for the event.

It was a festive atmosphere. With casual dress encouraged, many staff turned out in shorts and sandals. Staff from across campus rode campus transit buses together to get to the intramural fields. Once there, they were met with a variety of ways to relax—from enjoying a meal catered by Saucehouse Barbecue to a host of lawn games and live music.

Heather Roberts, an office manager in the political science department, was one of the many staff members who attempted to ride the mechanical bulldog—think a rodeo-style mechanical bull but shaped like a bulldog.

Roberts was able to hold on for a few seconds before being bucked off the bulldog like most other staff members brave enough to give the dog a try.

Staff in attendance seemed to appreciate the thought behind the event.

Tremell Callaway, an employee in University Housing, said, “Days like this, we feel like we get rewarded for our hard work.”

“This appreciation event is really well worth the wait,” said Felicia Hubbard, an administrative assistant in the Facilities Management’s automotive center.

The event was sponsored by the Office of the President. During the event, President Jere W. Morehead told staff the work they do each day makes UGA “a stronger and more vibrant institution.”

“That’s what this event is about today,” Morehead said, “an expression of thanks to all of you for your support to the University of Georgia and for your loyalty and dedication to this great institution.”

The idea for the event came from UGA’s Staff Council, an advising body to the president, which proposed the idea two years ago, during a time when wage and salary increases were put on hold at the state level.

Michael Lewis, chair of Staff Council, said he was pleasantly “shocked” at the strong turnout at the event.

“It’s marvelous,” Lewis said. “We have a really tight-knit community on UGA’s campus. We have people who have a few friends, people who have a lot of friends, and this is an opportunity to get together and enjoy being here just because we’re all here.”