Employee Recognition Luncheon Honors Staff and Faculty

President Larry Schall and Montrey Jackson, winner of the Staff Member of the Year Award.

President Larry Schall and Montrey Jackson, winner of the Staff Member of the Year Award.

The inaugural Employee Recognition Luncheon was held on Monday in the new Turner Lynch Campus Center, and a number of staff and faculty members were recognized for their exceptional service to Oglethorpe.

Oglethorpe staff members were invited to nominate their peers for six new staff awards that recognized individuals who have gone “beyond the call of duty.” All awards included a monetary prize. A total of 21 nominations were submitted for this year’s awards.

The top Staff Member of the Year Award for the 2012-13 academic year went to Montrey Jackson, systems & communications analyst in IT Services. His award was presented by coworker and nominator Al Fuller, who highlighted Montrey’s willingness to always stop what he’s doing to help anyone in the OU community. Montrey personally took it upon himself to research and implement the necessary steps for a gaming network on campus and has been integral in researching and implementing cost saving measures. When OU recently lost power across the entire campus, Montrey came to work even though employees were told to stay at home, in order to ensure that Oglethorpe’s network became functional. He is a consummate professional and has exemplified being a team player through his conduct, generosity, and service-oriented approach. 

Winners of staff awards, Katie Paden, Judy Zahn, Montrey Jackson, Suzy Lane, Laura Sinclair and Heather Staniszewski.

Staff award winners: Katie Paden, Judy Zahn, Montrey Jackson, Suzy Lane, Laura Sinclair and Heather Staniszewski.

Additional awards were presented to staff members who exhibited exemplary conduct during the past year in specific categories.
The winners of these awards are:
Professionalism Award: Suzy Lane, accounts receivable specialist, Business Office
Customer Service Award: Judy Zahn, circulation manager, Philip Weltner Library
Quality Award: Katie Paden, assistant director, Admission Office
Teamwork Award: Heather Staniszewski, assistant director, Center for Civic Engagement
Creativity Award: Laura Sinclair, reference librarian, Philip Weltner Library

The Staff Recognition Committee was responsible for reviewing and evaluating all of the nominations to determine the winners. This year’s committee included Melissa Briley, Becky Hall, George Kopec, Wayne Phipps, Renee Vary Keele and Toni Zimmerman. This year’s six award winners will form the Staff Recognition Committee for the upcoming academic year.

Staff and faculty that received pins commemorating years of service to Oglethorpe: Alan Woods, Cindy Vaios, Al Fuller, Wayne Phipps, Dan Giordano, Phil Ponder, Jon Akin, Stacia Kingston, Judy Zahn, Chris Summers, James Jones and Mike Rulison.

Staff and faculty who received pins commemorating years of service to Oglethorpe: Alan Woods, Cindy Vaios, Al Fuller, Wayne Phipps, Dan Giordano, Phil Ponder, Jon Akin, Stacia Kingston, Judy Zahn, Chris Summers, James Jones, Mike Rulison.

Additionally, pins were presented to employees who celebrated notable work anniversaries at Oglethorpe. Celebrating 5 years of service were Al Fuller, Leanne Henry-Miller, James Jones, Stacia Kingston, Wayne Phipps, Cindy Vaios and Alan Woods. Celebrating 10 years of service were Jon Akin, Dr. Lynn Gieger, Dan Giordano, Dr. Peter Kower, Dr. Seema Shrikhande, Chris Summers and Judy Zahn. Celebrating 15 years of service were Phil Ponder and Dr. Anne Rosenthal. Drs. Brad Smith and Dean Tucker celebrated 20 and 25 years, respectively. The awards with the most years of service went to Dr. Mike Rulison and Dr. Brad Stone, both whom celebrated 30 years of service with Oglethorpe this year.

Congratulations to all of this year’s honorees, and thank you to everyone who dedicates their professional lives to benefit Oglethorpe University!

Staff members from Admission, including David Dixon, Ryan Edwards, Katie Paden, Lucy Leusch, Alex Richey, Rebecca Secula.

Admission staff David Dixon, Ryan Edwards, Katie Paden, Lucy Leusch, Alex Richey, Rebecca Secula.

Development and Alumni Relations staff Sarah Minge, Heather Main, Barb Henry and Tess Beals.

Development and Alumni Relations staff Sarah Minge, Heather Main, Barb Henry and Tess Beals.

The Lale Özgörkey Bell Tower Dedicated at Oglethorpe’s Lupton Hall

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, Cemal Özgörkey, Armagan Özgörkey, Coca-Cola's Chairman & CEO Muhtar Kent and President Schall

On April 8, Oglethorpe University officially dedicated the iconic bell tower of Lupton Hall as The Lale Özgörkey Bell Tower. A dedication ceremony held in front of Lupton Hall included special guest speakers Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.

The naming is in recognition of a generous gift from the Özgörkey family, many of whom were in attendance. Cemal Özgörkey, chairman of Özgörkey Holding, is a member of the Oglethorpe’s Board of Trustees. Both he and his brother, Armagan Özgörkey, vice chairman of Özgörkey Holding, are Oglethorpe alumni. The bell tower’s new name honors their mother, Lale Özgörkey. The family’s gift benefits Oglethorpe’s new campus center, opening in August 2013.

“Oglethorpe’s relationship with the Özgörkey family began more than 30 years ago and we could not be more proud of Cemal and Armagan and what they accomplished,” said Oglethorpe President Larry Schall. “It’s a tremendous privilege for our entire community to name the bell tower that overlooks our campus in honor of their mother, Lale Özgörkey.”

Lupton Hall is named after John Thomas Lupton, the owner of the Southern franchise of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Lupton Hall was completed in three phases, with groundbreaking ceremonies in 1922, 1924 and 1927. The bell tower, a part of the original section of the hall, was built as a memorial to Lupton’s mother. Lupton Hall was the second building erected on the university’s campus.

Oglethorpe Day: A Beloved Tradition Grows

The Petrels of Fire Race ca. 2012

Oglethorpe Day is an annual celebration of Oglethorpe University’s namesake, and as Dean Michelle Hall puts it, a “pride-in-my-school-and-organizations day.”

And this year, there are numerous ways to show your school pride. Student organizations (and maybe even some staff and faculty) will be decorating shopping carts for the parade of shopping cart floats (contact Kendra Hunter for more details). And, to celebrate President Schall’s affinity for wacky socks, the Programming Board is sponsoring a sock decorating event today in The Petrel’s Nest. Then, at 12:45 p.m. tomorrow, on Wednesday, February 13, put on your craziest socks and head to the quad for the exhilarating annual Petrels of Fire race!

While the race usually begins at noon sharp, this year it will begin at 1:00 p.m., due to class scheduling… which doesn’t mean that the bell will only ring once! It will ring 12 times, and runners will race around the quad in hopes of arriving back before the last bell tolls. To my knowledge, no one has ever won this race—maybe you will be the first?

This year's Oglethorpe Day speaker: President Schall

After the race, a surprise guest (a local celebrity!) will lead attendees to Conant Performing Arts Center for the Oglethorpe Day annual address. This year’s speech will be delivered by our own President Schall on the topic of “Non nobis solum (not for ourselves alone): What is the Role of a University President in Liberal Society?”

“We have a very student-centered president,” said Dean Hall.  “Students know they are known and loved by their president…The theme (of his speech) will focus on how to make a difference, and that’s something we want all our students to think about.”

The occasion will include The Ogletones, our new a cappella group, and end with Oglethorpe’s Alma Mater and Fight Song (The Stormy Petrel March), courtesy of OU Winds and Singers. Attendees are then invited to enjoy Coke floats and peach cobbler and ice cream, all served in observance of the day’s Georgia theme.

“We’re building some more traditions into this tradition,” said Dean Hall, who went onto explain that the Presidents of other schools and organizations will be recognized during the event, and that the class with the most participants will win a prize. “Come if you want to support your class, if you are an athlete or the head of an organization… or if you just want to see what socks Dr. Schall is wearing.”

I know my curiosity has been piqued. Join us at Oglethorpe Day, this Wednesday, February 13th starting at 12:45 p.m. on the quad!

Oglethorpe Names New Athletics Director

Oglethorpe University has chosen Rebecca “Becky” Hall as director of athletics. Hall is currently the assistant athletics director and senior woman administrator at Wittenberg University and will become Oglethorpe’s fourth director of athletics since reassigning to NCAA Division III in 1990.

OU's newest Petrel - Rebecca Hall

Becky Hall will replace Jay Gardinerwho has served as director since 2004. Gardiner is now the inaugural commissioner of the new Southern Athletic Association, Oglethorpe’s athletic association beginning in the 2012-2013 season.

“After a national search that yielded exceptional candidates, the committee identified the best match for Oglethorpe,” said Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students Michelle Hall. “Becky is truly a great fit, full of energy, ideas and experience that will guide our growing athletic program.”

A 1998 graduate of Urbana University where she was a star softball player, Hall was immediately hired by Wittenberg University as an assistant coach and rapidly made an impact on Tiger athletics. She was promoted to head softball coach in 1999 and, just one season later in 2000, led Wittenberg to their first North Coast Athletic Conference Championship. That season concluded with the Tigers making their first trip to the NCAA Championships and securing the school’s first NCAA Tournament softball victory.

While remaining as head softball coach, Hall took on progressive responsibilities. She served as Wittenberg’s director of intramurals and club sports from 2003-2007 before being promoted to assistant director of athletics and senior woman administrator in July of 2007. In that span, Hall has continued to lead a successful softball program and overseen a 3.5 million dollar budget while also fundraising over $58,000 of supplemental income to the department.

In recent years, Oglethorpe has experienced a surge in growth, having added two new dormitories to the campus with plans to break ground on a state-of-the-art new campus center soon.

“Becky’s addition to our leadership team is a strategic move to continue to elevate our athletic programs, build a winning tradition and develop scholar-athletes who are successful on and off the playing fields,” said Oglethorpe University President Lawrence M. Schall.

In addition to her fundraising success, Hall directly supervised all phases of 10 varsity sports teams while at Wittenberg. An advocate for several non-profit organizations, Hall engaged the Wittenberg student-athletes in a variety of community service efforts including events for Strike Out Cancer and Toys for Tots. Continue reading