Classified Service

40 years of service recipients Florence Grueser (L) and Lois Coutant (R) pose with President McDavis at annual ceremony

Photographer: Bekah Prater

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Classified Service Awards recognize employees for years of service

More than 200 workers honored for their service

Classified Senate hosted the 42nd annual Classified Service Awards Reception on Tuesday in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

The ceremony honored more than 200 classified employees who recently celebrated 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 years of service to Ohio University.

Awardees and their special guests enjoyed lunch and listened to inspirational words from Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis.

"There is a daily excellence that happens at Ohio University," McDavis said. "We [at Ohio University] are successful because we have many committed people who are focused on our students, and many of those people are in this room today. Our classified staff plays a significant role in elevating Ohio University."

McDavis went on to tell the awardees, "At the heart of Ohio University is its people, and we wouldn't be Ohio University without you."

After McDavis spoke, awardees were photographed by years of service. After lunch, Classified Senate staff gave away door prizes and conducted a 50/50 raffle to close out the ceremony.

The most senior employee honored was Melba Evans, a former administrative associate in Intercollegiate Athletics, who retired on June 30 with 45 years of service.

Because she did not attend the ceremony, the most senior honorees in the room were Alden Library employees Lois Coutant and Florence Grueser, who were honored for 40 years of service.

Coutant, a library specialist, said she started her career on Aug. 19, 1971, after traveling to Athens with her husband, who was pursuing a Ph.D. in interpersonal communication. The Vienna, Ohio, native said she plans to continue working thanks to a great work environment at Alden Library.

"These are fantastic people to work with, and my job is still challenging enough to keep me excited to come to work each day," Coutant said.

Grueser, a senior librarian assistant, said she began working in the cataloging function of the library on Oct. 12, 1970, but took a hiatus in 1986 after delivering twins. The native of nearby Shade, Ohio, returned to work in 1987 and said she has enjoyed the camaraderie along the way.

"I've worked with lots of nice people over the years, and I have really enjoyed it," Grueser said.

In addition to President McDavis, first lady Deborah McDavis, Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit, Vice President for Finance and Administration Steve Golding and Chief of Staff and Special Assistant to the President Becky Watts also attended the ceremony.