UD announces Food Bank effort, award at employee appreciation picnic
1:34 p.m., June 5, 2012--The University of Delaware held its fourth annual UDidIt! employee appreciation picnic on Monday, June 4, celebrating the recently completed academic year, announcing a Food Bank of Delaware partnership and presenting the recipient of the first John Warren Excellence in Leadership Award.
UD President Patrick Harker expressed the University's appreciation to its employees at the event, held in a large tent on The Green following on the heels of Commencement on May 26 and Alumni Weekend on June 1-3.
Cold weather schedule
An estimated 3,000 faculty and staff attended the celebration.
"This is a great University because of you," Harker told the assembled employees as, in apron and chef's hat, he took a break from the serving line. "Thank you for all your hard work all year long."
Harker made special note of the employee volunteer effort for the Alumni Weekend Dela-bration, which had to be moved from Friday to Saturday as a line of thunderstorms threatened, thanking faculty and staff for making a "seamless" transition and "welcoming our alumni" back to campus.
The president also thanked donors to the Faculty and Staff Campaign, noting that the fiscal year 2013 goal is 50 percent participation and $2 million in gifts. "It's ambitious but, together, I know we can do it," he said.
He also noted that as an expression of gratitude to faculty and staff the University's Barnes and Noble Bookstore will be offering special summer discounts on UD merchandise, general reading materials, the Nook and café drinks.
Food Bank partnership
Robin Morgan, who is returning to the faculty after 10 years as dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Kathy Matt, dean of the College of Health Sciences, announced a BlueHensCAN partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware.
Morgan said that during the 2012-13 academic year, UD, which already has a wide range of programs geared to assist the Food Bank, will undertake its first coordinated effort. During the fall semester, a Food Bank truck will come to campus to collect and transport donations and UD volunteers will help unload items at the organization's facilities.
The concerted BlueHensCAN effort "can make a huge impact on the Food Bank," Morgan said, also inviting employees to the Aug. 9 Evening in the Garden at the Garden for the Community on the CANR campus to support the Food Bank. The college has had an ongoing partnership with the Food Bank through the garden, which produces fresh fruits and vegetables and provides service learning opportunities for UD students.
"We are excited to partner with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources in pulling together this food drive," Matt said, noting that the Food Bank of Delaware serves more than 240,000 people annually, nearly half of them children.
Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware president and CEO, said the organization could not accomplish its mission without the support of institutions such as UD. "On behalf of the Food Bank of Delaware, we thank you so very much," she said.
Warren Award presentation
Jennifer (J.J.) Davis, vice president for finance and administration, announced the recipient of the University's first John Warren Excellence in Leadership and Service Award, which recognizes significant accomplishments by supervisory staff in the areas of leadership and service.
The award was won by Michael Parisi, assistant director of computing operations in Facilities, who Davis said "exemplifies what we stand for -- Dare to be first."
Parisi said the award "is very meaningful" because Warren, who served UD as director of custodial and pest control services, had been a mentor to him. The award includes a $1,000 gift.
Under the tent, bins were set up for donations of nonperishable food items to the Food Bank. Those employees who donated a food item became eligible to enter a ballot to win a grand prize item, an iPad.
Those who forgot to bring a food item on Monday have until 3 p.m., Friday, June 8, to drop a donation off at one of three campus locations -- the UDairy Creamery, the Office of Human Resources or the Office of the Executive Vice President.
The iPad drawing will be held, and will be announced on UDaily, in the week following the picnic.
Questions regarding the event may be directed to the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
Other prizes were presented to employees whose names were selected at random during the picnic.
Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson and Evan Krape