Pollack recognizes staff for service, contribution

Ashley Fazio
President Martha E. Pollack, center, with two 45-year awardees: Linda Johanson, left, and Linda Kabelac.


More than 380 staff were honored by Cornell President Martha E. Pollack and Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Mary Opperman at the 62nd annual Service Recognition Dinner June 21 in Barton Hall.

The event recognized the dedicated service of Cornell University’s long-term staff celebrating a fifth-year milestone anniversary of 25 years or more.

“I’ve been here myself for two months, and all of you honorees have been here at least 25 years – that is really spectacular and such an enormous contribution to the university’s mission,” said Pollack. “The skills you have developed and the experience you have gained are hugely valuable to Cornell and to everybody who works with you.”

She continued: “Cornell University is known around the world for its high quality of education, research and outreach – but really and truly, none of those things could happen without you. You deserve the most rewarding and supportive working environment we can create.”

Pollack recognized three staff members who served 45 years:

  • Susan Branch, administrative assistant in the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine;
  • Linda Johanson, managing editor of the Administrative Science Quarterly in the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management; and
  • Linda Pearce Kabelac, stewardship major gifts officer in Alumni Affairs and Development.

Also recognized were 39 staff members with more than 40 years of service but not celebrating a fifth-year milestone, and those who retired or will retire this year.

Noting the many ways in which staff contribute to the life and activities of the university, Opperman said: “Cornell’s reputation for excellence relies on the successful partnership between our faculty and you – our extraordinary staff. As we support our students, many of whom go on to be tomorrow’s leaders, each of us in our own way contributes to their educational experience.” She also thanked the friends and families of awardees for supporting them.

“Together, our awardees this year represent more than 10,000 years of Cornell experience,” she said. “We certainly could not keep our campus running day in and day out without your hard work.”

The evening featured a singing performance by Mark Lawrence, web and information systems manager for the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.

As Opperman noted some national and Cornell highlights from the years that awardees began working at Cornell, the BackTalk Band provided popular musical selections from each era.

Ashley Fazio is director of communications in the Division of the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer.