Event honors outstanding administrators, retirees and service milestones
May 23, 2007
By Elizabeth Boyle
A white carnation pinned to his lapel and his voice quivering with emotion, Gordon Pettey stood before a roomful of Ohio University administrators Tuesday afternoon to give his acceptance speech. One of three recipients of this year's Outstanding Administrator Awards, the Facilities Management operations manager was clearly elated to be recognized by his peers.
"Ohio University is blessed with a corps of outstanding administrators," he said. "To receive this award from you is a high point of my professional life."
The ceremony, which also honored retiring administrators and those celebrating milestones of service, stirred emotion, reflection and gratitude among awardees and attendees alike. Carolyn Bailey Lewis and Donald Moore, also recipients of the Outstanding Administrator Award, shared the limelight with Pettey as each received a standing ovation and shared touching words.
Recipients of the award go through a rigorous process that includes nominations from colleagues and input from a committee of Administrative Senate, which presents the end-of-the-year awards and ceremony. Recognized for their strong commitment and outstanding service to the university, awardees receive a certificate of recognition, have their name inscribed on a plaque in Chubb Hall and receive $1,000.
Pettey was singled out, in part, for pioneering the first deferred maintenance assessment of residence and dining halls, breaking the gender barrier in the maintenance trades by hiring the first female painter and gladly accommodating disabled students long before implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"Nobody achieves anything alone, and it's teamwork that wins the day," he said, reminding audience members of the value of collaboration and their vital role in the university's future success.
Lewis, director and general manager of the WOUB Center for Public Media, also turned the spotlight on others. Reflecting on her own career, she said she hopes she has always treated others as she appreciates being treated herself.
"I've always been amazed at what administrators do every day to keep the university going strong," said Bailey Lewis, who will receive her doctorate this spring after working on it for the past seven years. Turning to her coworkers, she said, "You've all been willing to make changes and follow my leadership."
Bailey Lewis is credited with working to ensure, despite tight budgets, that primary functions at the center are protected. During her nearly 10 years at the helm, WOUB has set a national standard by providing 12 distinct programming streams for viewers, producing nationally broadcast productions and winning an impressive number of high-level awards.
Like Bailey Lewis, Ohio University-Southern's director of electronic media had kind words for family, friends and coworkers. Moore thanked his bosses for "allowing me to dream."
"It's a privilege to be a part of Ohio University," he said.
Moore has been involved in the production, filming and broadcast of such events as the Blizzards Hockey games, the USTA Women's Pro Tennis Classic and the Winter Wonderland of Lights Christmas Parade. He also established the Electronic Media Moving Image Excellence awards, which attract entries nearly 400 high school students from three states. He compared Ohio University-Southern to a family and invited attendees to the campus.
"We're small, and we all wear many hats, and we accomplish great things," he said.
Also Tuesday, 22 administrators with a combined 485 years of institutional service celebrated their retirements. Four -- William Allen, associate dean of University College; Alan Geiger, assistant to the president and secretary to the board of trustees; G. Robert Houdek, science reference librarian; and Richard Moffitt, assistant dean of lifelong learning -- are retiring with 30 or more years of service and received special recognition.
"I am really grateful for the opportunity Ohio University has given me and my family to grow our lives here," said Geiger, who is retiring after 40 years. "One of the things I've enjoyed is the sense of loyalty that's been given back to me."
Other administrators honored for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service received certificates and service anniversary gifts. Joyice Childs, who counts this year as her 30th with the university, was one of the 120 employees celebrating milestones.
"Ohio University has had a pretty profound effect on me," said Childs, who earned her undergraduate and master's degrees here. "I am very proud to have worked here this long, very proud."