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Celebrating staff: 2021 service anniversary milestones

More than 200 Emory University staff members were recognized in December for reaching significant service anniversary milestones: 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 years at Emory. Each received a celebration box to mark the occasion since they weren’t able to gather in person.

Each year, Emory recognizes university staff members who reach significant service anniversary milestones: 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 years of service. Honorees were not able to attend a special luncheon with the university president as in years past due to current operating guidelines, but that didn’t stop their being recognized.

“The pandemic has forced us to find ways to do things differently,” says Melissa Morgan, manager of recognition and engagement. “We still wanted to celebrate and honor these employees for their incredible achievement and length of service to Emory, so we came up with the idea of creating celebration boxes.”

Last week, all 2021 honorees were mailed a Service Awards Celebration Box that included gifts to recognize their achievement along with a special letter of recognition from President Gregory L. Fenves.

“The boxes have been a big hit,” says Morgan. “Although it can never take the place of meeting with each other in person, they’ve been very well received by this year’s group of honorees.”

Highlights from their years

“The 233 honorees receiving recognition this year have seen a tremendous amount of change over the years,” Morgan says. “They’ve watched the campus grow and evolve and have personally been a part of that transformation.”

Dawn Francis-Chewning (30 years) agrees, saying, “Dooley really is the only thing that goes on forever … presidents, professors, students, buildings and even street names come and go.”

With this in mind, the 2021 honorees were invited to share memories and reflect on what their time at Emory has meant to them. The stories have been collected and posted online to spotlight some of their own unique achievements.

What are a few things the 2021 honorees miss from “back in the day”? Some of their responses included Jagger’s Tavern in Emory Village (Anne Davis, 25 years), the fifth-floor cafeteria at Clinic A (Luke Anderson, 25 years) and the libraries’ mailbox being full of current periodicals (Maria Flowers, 25 years).

By and large, the 2021 honorees think of colleagues, mentors and students they have worked with when reflecting on their favorite memories of Emory.

Laura Fox-Goharioon (35 years) shares, “The students who went through my lab either graduating or defending their dissertations are the highlight of my time in this role. I had the honor of assisting them on their journey.” 

“I have loved working with so many great people all across Emory,” says Gary Teal (35 years). “I have taken great pride in watching Emory grow into the internationally recognized leader it is today in education, research and clinical care.”

Despite the many changes over the years, the 2021 honorees still share a fondness for Emory.

“I am proud to be a member of the Emory community, an employee and an alumna,” notes Lynne Morelock-Roy (40 years).

Renee Wilder (30 years) adds that she was thankful “for the many years of education, growth and friendships received.”

And Lynell Cadray (25 years) shares thoughts that resonated with other honorees. “As I reflect on my experience at Emory, I would not choose to do this work at any other institution. We are not a perfect place, but we continue to strive to be our very best.”

Read more about the 2021 honorees here.