Awards Ceremony Highlights UM Staff Appreciation Week

Annual celebration recognizes employees for years, excellence in service

UM employees enjoy sharing plants and stories during the annual plant swap during Staff Appreciation Week. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Most of us as University of Mississippi employees anticipate the arrival of annual Staff Appreciation Week. It’s somewhat like an extended break period from the regular routines we all engage in daily.

Starting Monday (May 15), staff members can choose from a variety of events to enjoy at their leisure. Of all the activities scheduled, perhaps the awards ceremony on Friday (May 19) is what those honored find most gratifying.

The program begins at 9 a.m. in the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts with recognition of all employees hired within the past year. Then, long-standing employees will be presented keepsakes in recognition of five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 30-plus years of service to the institution.

Before the program ends, Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter will present a select few employees with Outstanding Staff Awards. Gazel Giles, Staff Council president, will also present service awards. Recipients of these honors are given monetary rewards as well as the traditional plaque.

Other activities scheduled during the week include:

  • Monday (May 15): lecture on “Plants that Work Well in Your Yard” at 10 a.m. in the Yerby Center Auditorium, an 11 a.m. kickoff to a healthy week in the Manning Center, bicycle maintenance at the Ole Miss Bike Shop starting at 4 p.m. and aqua aerobics at the Turner Center pool beginning at 5:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday (May 16): a blood drive at 9 a.m. in the Grove, a first aid and CPR class at 10 in Yerby Center auditorium, a 4 p.m. Zumba class in front of the Grove Stage and aqua aerobics again at 5:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday (May 17): the blood drive continues at 9 a.m., a 10 a.m. music and meditation service in Paris-Yates Chapel and a 2 p.m. introduction to belly dancing in the Yerby Center auditorium.
  • Thursday (May 18): a 10 a.m. plant swap in the Grove, a 12:30 p.m. yoga and yogurt in a location to be announced and aqua aerobics at 5:15 p.m.
  • Friday (May 19): the awards ceremony, an 11 a.m. staff lunch at Rebel Market and fun time beginning at 1 p.m.

As one who received my 10-year certificate in 2016, I urge everyone who can do so to attend Friday’s awards ceremony. Whether you’re being honored or not, showing support for your fellow employees will make both you and them feel great!

Don’t miss all the other great events either. Hopefully, I’ll see you around campus during the week!