Woo Hoo! Gary Taylor!Monday, September 24, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
Custodian cleans up at Algoma University's Thunderbird Award Ceremony
Annual ceremony honours years of service and exceptional accomplishments
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON (September 24, 2012) - Every year, Algoma University presents a member of its support staff with the prestigious Thunderbird Award.
Gary Taylor, now in his 30th year of service in the Physical Plant Department at Algoma University, was given the top honour last month in front of faculty, administration, and staff at the university's Summerfest event.
"Gary is an all-star. As a custodian and a colleague he always goes the extra mile to make sure the needs of the employees and students at AU are being met." said Sean Dwyer, vice president of Finance and Administration. "He was also an invaluable member of the Group Savings Plan Committee given his meticulous preparation."
The Thunderbird Award, named in celebration of the cultural freedom and strength of the Thunderbird, is conferred on someone who consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty and/or in recognition of exceptional accomplishments.
Nominations are made by anyone at the university and the winner is chosen by a panel of past recipients.
"Gary is a true gentleman," said Dr. Richard Myers, president of Algoma University, speaking to Gary's deservedness as he announced the award. "He's beyond friendly: he knows everyone's name, and is genuinely interested in how peoples' days are going. And his ability to make new staff, faculty and visitors feel at ease is uncanny."
Dr. Myers went on to explain how welcoming Gary is, when he spoke of a small staff luncheon at his house with several Algoma University employees and a visiting scholar from North Carolina: "Gary was seated next to her and he spent the hour politely asking her very informed questions about the geography, history, and politics of North Carolina to provide her with the opportunity to be a part of the conversation. As I drove our visitor back to campus after lunch, she gushed about how polished her seat-mate was, but she couldn't figure out which discipline he taught in as he was so knowledgeable on so many topics. But that's just Gary - so well-read and so able to make people feel comfortable."
When he received the plaque, Taylor, an alumnus who graduated from Algoma in 1993 with an economics degree, asked to say a few words: "I'm deeply touched by this honour. My contribution at the university is a humble one; and we are all a part of the ongoing success of Algoma U, so this award is for everyone positively impacting the university community."
"It's extremely rewarding for me to have such camaraderie with my colleagues, and I especially enjoy being intellectually stretched by the well-versed faculty," Taylor continued. "Algoma University occupies a special and unique place in the educational landscape of Canada, and I am truly humbled by all of this and most thankful."
Past winners of the Thunderbird award include: Tiffany Gallivan 2011, Joanne Nanne 2010, Barb Muio 2009, Carol Wright 2008, Diane Labbe 2007, Penny Tyrrel 2006, David Marasco 2005, Judy A. Syrette 2004, and Marcello Barone 2003.
At Summerfest, employees also receive pins for their years of service.
Awarded that day were a 35-year pin for Krishna Kadiyala, 20-year pins for Shelly Mitchell and Arthur Perlini, a 15-year pin for David Marasco, 10-year pins for Dale Innes and Bruce Willson, and a number of five- year pins.
About Algoma University
Algoma University offers a wide variety of liberal arts and sciences degree options including programs in psychology, computer science, business administration, fine arts, community economic & social development, and biology in Sault Ste. Marie, Brampton, Timmins and St. Thomas.
As a partner with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, Algoma U is committed to respecting Anishinaabe knowledge and culture.
Algoma University has launched its Essential Elements Campaign to expand its campus and offer more scholarships and awards to students.
To learn more, visit here.