Employees’ commitment honored

Cheyanne Crum, Features editor

On April 18, in Christ the King Chapel, 61 employees were recognized for their years of service to the school with a gift. The honorees were marked in five-year increments. Among these recipients were Jack Williams, Ph.D., professor of Chemistry, and Dave Cherico, fleet services coordinator, both hitting their 40-year mark.

President Michael T. Victor spoke during the event about the honorees.

“All of you here today represent the very best of this institution, and your impressive records of service merit our highest praise. Mercyhurst has excelled under your capable hands,” said Victor during the ceremony. “Our reputation, our values, our sense of community have been forged through your hard work and loyalty.”

David Dausey, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, read the names of the employees and each came onto stage and received their gifts.

“In years past, we had honored those who had 20 years of service to the University,” said Betsy Frank, director of Executive Office Projects and Events. “When President Victor arrived last year, he established honoring those who had milestone years from 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, etc. to thank them for their continued years of dedicated service to the University.”

Each class of recipients received different pins based on years of service. They also received larger gifts as well. The 20-year honorees were presented with an engraved keepsake box, the 25-year honorees bestowed with a tapestry throw blanket of the college, the 30-year honorees received a Mercyhurst University clock and finally, the two 40-year honorees were awarded with a Mercyhurst University watch.

Mary Hembrow Snyder, Ph.D., professor of Theology and Religious Studies and director of the William C. Sennett Institute for Mercy and Catholic Studies, received a clock with the Mercyhurst insignia and a Mercyhurst pin.

“I was very gratifying to have my 30 years of service recognized by President Victor and his administration, as well as all of my colleagues who shared this event with me,” Snyder said.

Snyder has had many roles during her years at Mercyhurst, along with her current positions. Currently she is the coordinator for the Sister Joan D. Chittister, OSB Lecture Series. Previously, she has held the department chair position, division chair positions, associate dean and dean.

Williams started his career in industry as a polymer chemist. Now he works as an organic chemist, and he would like to stay here.

“If you find something you love, why would you give it up?” said Williams. “Teaching and research are an unbeatable combination.”

Both Williams and Snyder have not lost their passion for teaching, even after a few decades.

“I still love teaching after all these years and also truly enjoy both my students and colleagues,” Snyder said.

Brian Reed, dean of faculty, was honored for his 15 years of service. He said he continues to work here for the students.

“The best part of Mercyhurst is the students, who are most always inquisitive, kind and dedicated,” said Reed. “They also represent what is best about life, being good people who care about the welfare of others and the health of the planet.”

Reed has attended the Ireland trip on four occasions with students.

“The first two times I traveled with Dr. David Livingston, Dr. Daniel McFee and Dr. Mary Ann Owoc with students that we drove around in vans, staying in hostels and lecturing on the roadside, or in rest stops or on locations,” said Reed. “My hope is that we will soon see most of our students travel to our Ireland campus. Study abroad is a life-changing experience.”

The school has seen many changes over the years, not only where study abroad is concerned, to make the school more “student-friendly.”

“I have witnessed many changes; perhaps one of the most important, in my opinion, is that we now have full semesters,” Snyder said.

Victor thanked the employees and stressed their importance to the Mercyhurst community.

“You are the foundation upon which we meet new challenges and new opportunities. We will continue to count on each and every one of you to catalyze great work, and to do it in the only way we at Mercyhurst know how: by seizing the day,” Victor said.