57th Service Recognition Dinner recognizes 282 staff

Author: 
Nancy Doolittle
Staff members and guests enjoy a reception before dinner.

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Celebrating 25, 30, 35, 40 or more years of service to Cornell and representing more than a total of 8,300 years of experience, 282 staff members were recognized at the 57th Annual Service Recognition Dinner, March 28 at Newman Arena in Bartels Hall.

Two staff members were recognized for 45 years of service – Ann Prince-Rivkin, administrative assistant for the Office of Government and Community Relations, who recently retired, and Ray Helmke, director of computer operations at the Laboratory for Elementary Particle Physics.

Prince-Rivkin handled the vice president’s calendar and other administrative duties. According to various colleagues, Prince-Rivkin was known for her smile and kind words for everyone. “Over my tenure at Cornell, it’s been a mutual admiration society, one of respect, one of working for and with a remarkable group of people at all levels. It’s been fun,” Prince-Rivkin says.

Helmke leads computing for particle physics, accelerator control systems and accelerator scientific and computing support. “My position in information technology has been one of constant change and growth,” Helmke says. “Cornell has provided the stability, community and beautiful environment for a very satisfying career.”

President David Skorton also recognized four staff who had reached the 40-year mark: Nan Colvin, registrar at the Law School; George Gull, research support specialist in radiophysics and space research; Linda Johanson, managing editor of the Administrative Science Quarterly at the Samuel C. Johnson Graduate School of Management; and Linda Pearce Kabelac ’69, major gifts officer at Alumni Affairs and Development.

Skorton also drew attention to those who are soon retiring and those who actively volunteer on and off campus.

Mary George Opperman, vice president for human resources and safety services, thanked the staff members for their services, from feeding students and caring for grounds and buildings to providing safety services, supporting classrooms and research and ensuring that students are supported and bills are paid.

She also noted the 47 employees who suffered losses as a result of the floods caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee last fall, and highlighted the university’s CARE Fund to which faculty and staff contributed to benefit such victims.

Susan Murphy, vice president for student and academic services, recalled what was happening at Cornell, in Ithaca and around the world during each of the anniversary years, while the Backtalk Band performed songs representative of each era.

Hearsay, a Cornell women’s a cappella group, performed during dinner.

45-year awardee Ray Helmke is recognized for his years of service.
45-year awardee Ray Helmke is recognized for his years of service.
45-year awardee Ann Prince-Rivkin dances with Vice President Tommy Bruce.
45-year awardee Ann Prince-Rivkin dances with Vice President Tommy Bruce.
George Gull, 40-year awardee, is recognized for his years of service.
George Gull, 40-year awardee, is recognized for his years of service.