On June 21, traffic stopped often as swarms of people crossed North Park Street in Hanover heading for Leverone Field House. But it was not an athletic event the crowds came for; it was the annual Employee Service Awards Banquet at which Dartmouth honors non-faculty staff who have given 10, 15, 20, 25, and 26-plus years of service to the College.
Inside, with Leverone decorated for the banquet—the field house transformed by green and white curtains and filled with round tables set for dinner—a large screen displayed a video of student workers talking about the impact Dartmouth’s staff had on their undergraduate experience. The staff “helped me shape and narrow my career goals,” said Lauren Dowling ’11. “They help make Dartmouth the amazing place it is.”
In his message to the staff, President Jim Yong Kim said, “Every day, you touch the lives of thousands of students, faculty, and colleagues in person and from behind the scenes.” Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Steven Kadish told the audience, “Your work matters every day,” noting that the honorees had “more than 10,000 years of service combined.”
A major feature of the annual service awards dinner is the presentation of the Sheila Culbert Distinguished Employee Service Award. The award was established in 2008 by President Emeritus James Wright and Susan DeBevoise Wright to recognize a staff member who has made a difference to the College and to his or her colleagues, demonstrates a commitment to the highest work ethic and exemplary work performance, is both selfless and unwavering in dedication to the institution, and is relentless in pursuit of excellence.
The 2011 Culbert Award went to Robert Lester, culinary operations manager at Dartmouth Dining Services, for his work setting up a kosher kitchen for Dartmouth Hillel and “going well beyond the normal boundaries in his work” to foster a spirit of community at Dartmouth.
After the Culbert Award presentation, staff who were being celebrated were called by name and shook hands with the President, after which they had group pictures taken (below). For a complete listing of honored staff, see the event program (5 MB pdf).