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Largest Crowd Attends

Staff Appreciation Day

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 32 - June 4, 1998

Approximately 3,600 Virginia Tech classified staff and wage employees attended Staff Appreciation Day May 14 at Rector Field House.
Estimates indicate that this was one of the largest crowds ever in attendance for this event, perhaps partly due to good weather.
The Staff Appreciation Day Committee (SADC) planned a full schedule of activities, consisting of team relay races, group walks and walking tours, volleyball, and horseshoe pitching.
The staff of Personal Touch Catering, supervised by Anthony Purcell, catered the picnic lunch of hot dogs, hamburgers, vegetarian salads, beans, and veggie burgers, grilled chicken, and of course, desserts--ice cream and cookies. Pepsi and Coca-Cola vendors also provided many free gifts, with the grand prize of a boom box/CD player provided by Pepsi Products.
Tours arranged this year included Veterinary Medicine, Deet's Place, Horticulture Gardens, Scientific Glassworking, Adult Day Care Center, Fralin Biotechnology Center, and The Grove. There were 325 staff and wage employees who registered for walking tours.
One of the day's highlights was the team relay event. Eleven teams registered with over 120 staff members participating. First-place honors went to the Mixed Nuts, a team consisting of employees from the Physical Plant, Capital Design and Construction, Office of the University Architect, and horticulture. There was a three-way tie for second place. Second-place winners were the U.D. Tigers from University Development, Mad Cow Patties from Veterinary Medicine, and The Really, Really Nice Safety Oriented Nonconfrontational Team from the Environmental Health and Safety Office.
Since Staff Appreciation Day began several years ago, the Staff Appreciation Day Band has volunteered its energy and talent by providing live entertainment throughout the day. The band consists of several staff members led by Wendell Brown of chemical engineering. The D.J. and sound-system director was Dean Trimble.
The master of ceremonies and ringmaster for the day was Tony Distler, director of the School of the Arts. Distler introduced the relay teams and entertainment.
Each year, the SADC attempts to identify faculty and administrators with the talent and the nerve to perform in front of thousands of employees. Entertainment this year was provided by The Grrrrl Group led by Ann Kilkelly, associate professor in the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. The group performed a medley of songs from the 60s.
Group members included Carol Burch-Brown of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on rhythm guitar, EOAA Director Elyzabeth Holford on bass guitar, and Kirsten Worley, also from the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, on keyboard. Singing and dancing with the group were: Ann Dougherty, Jamilla Denoire, Latanya Walker, Marjukka Ollilainen, Catherine Gatenby, Sara Sethi, and Toni Calasanti.
The Staff Appreciation Day Committee is co-chaired each year by Linda Woodard of Personnel Services and Carole Nickerson from the President's Office. Members of the Staff Appreciation Day Committee this year were: Sherri Box of University Relations, Scotty Bolling of entomology, Patrick Donohoe of capital design and construction, Brenda Husser of sociology, and Joy Thorn of Human Resources and Education. Ex-officio members included Pat Ballard from the College of Agriculture, Cindy Koziol from the Child Study Center, and Barbara Townley from the Department of Music.
In addition to the regular members of the committee, staff members in the Office of the Vice President for Development and University Relations and President's Office handle many of the administrative duties. Instrumental in organizing and overseeing the group walking tours were Mary Grace Theodore, Debbie Rhea, Tamara Loan and Amanda Gland. Assisting from the President's Office were Margie Murray and Diane Karfakis. Bridgit Mitchell and Gloria Smith of the CommonHealth Office coordinated the team relay races.
This is a university-wide effort and could not be carried out without the hard work of faculty and staff members in many areas of the university. Over 40 faculty members volunteered to serve soft drinks, lead group walks and walking tours, and give campus tours. Many staff members from the Physical Plant assisted with the set-up and post event cleaning for the day.
Persons with comments about the day's events or suggestions for next year, may contact Murray at 1-7111 or e-mail her at mbmurray@vt.edu.