In It for the Long Haul | Teachers College Columbia University

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In It for the Long Haul

The College honored some 39 employees who reached milestones of 15, 20, 25, 35, 40 and even 45 years of service at the annual Long Term Recognition Ceremony in Everett Lounge.
When Hugh McCrimmon first arrived at Teachers College, he wasn’t thinking of staying three years—let alone 15. But there he was in Everett Lounge on Tuesday, June 23, dressed in a pinstripe suit and shaking Vice Provost Bill Baldwin’s hand after receiving his plaque for 15 years of dedicated service to the College.

“I can’t think of a better way to be recognized,” said the beaming McCrimmon, a switchboard operator in TC’s Facilities and Maintenance Department. “I love TC. I’ve been here 15 years and I know I’m going to be here another 15 because I love what I do.”

McCrimmon was one of 39 TC employees with more than 15 years of service who were recognized at the College’s annual Long Term Recognition Ceremony. Each year, employees whose terms are reaching a multiple of five are honored at the luncheon and reception. This year, a table was set up outside Everett Lounge with binders with each of the honorees’ names for fellow employees to sign. Inside, the lounge was transformed into a formal dining hall with several elegantly set tables for honorees and their families.

President Susan Fuhrman addressed the gathering prior to lunch and it was Baldwin who called each of the honoree to the podium and presented them with their plaque during the reception. “At a place like Teachers College, we think of ourselves as a community,” said Baldwin, himself a 29-year veteran of the institution. “We value that notion of an extended family, and it’s incredibly important to recognize and celebrate people who choose to be at TC and continue to contribute for an extended period of time.

“The truth of the matter is that very few of us come here with the idea that we’re going to be here for life, but as you can see, it’s a place that gets into your bones, it’s a place that does good work, and people stay. It’s a remarkable thing.”

This year was all the more remarkable because four employees were honored for 40 or more years of service, including William S. Grady, Lead Person in shipping and receiving, who has worked at TC for 45 years. (Grady was unable to attend the event.) Another longtime employee was Lead Account Clerk Josephine Takeall, who joined TC in the turbulent year of 1969, when her children were two and four years old.

“I am a grandmother now,” Takeall said. “But I’ve felt comfortable here at Teachers College and I’ve stayed. I love people and love helping people, and I don’t know if it was my personality or what, but I never liked to see a dissatisfied student. I always do my darnedest to help them, and through conversations I get to know about their lives. I’ve always liked that, and so I’ve stayed.”

When Baldwin called Dianne Marcucci-Sadnytzky, Director of Academic Administration in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies, to the podium, he recalled that some of his first interactions with her had been in meetings in the office of Dean Emeritus Harold Noah and the late Lawrence Cremin, who served as president of TC for a decade beginning in the mid-1970s during a teaching career at the College that spanned several decades. He thanked her for helping him learn about “the culture of the place and navigate some its byzantine ways” all those many years ago.

Afterwards, Marcucci-Sadnytzky, who was celebrating 35 years of service at the College, joked that she was getting rather good at being honored. “Well, I got one at 15, at 20, at 25, and so on,” she said. “Actually, I remember when they instituted these, that’s how long I’ve been here.  I was just going to get my master’s and leave, and I’m still here 35 years later.”

McCrimmon, meanwhile, could hardly believe that 15 years had streaked by. He thoroughly enjoyed the reception, the first of what he fully expects to be many more to come. “When I first came here, I thought I’d be here maybe two years or three years, but I stuck around because I had good people around me. It’s like I’m married to TC.”

The event was organized by the 2009 Long Term Recognition Committee comprised of Stephanie Cloots, Lynda Hallmark, Colleen Tabor, Leyla Thompson, Yvonne Wallace and Susan Wilson.

45 Years of Service
William S. Grady

40 Years of Service
Aida Christian
Joyce Logan
Miguel Lopez
Josephine Takeall

35 Years of Service
Clarence Houston
Dianne Marcucci Sadnytzky
Bob Tucker

25 Years of Service
Carole Saltz
Stacy Thomas

20 Years of Service
Marilyn Audain
ICE Callwood
Dennis Chambers
Narine Chandrapaul
Betty Ann Driver
Brian Ellerbeck
Isaac Freeman
Violet Idehen
Leroy Johnson
Sharon Johnson
Jessie Jones
Beatrice Mendoza
Mary Peace
Gary Pope
Usa Ungsunan
Gerry White

15 Years of Service
Alfonso Burgos
Johnnie Frierson
Ena Haines
James Jimenez
Husamedin Kadribegic
Maria Lamadrid
Gloria Lopez
Mary Lynch
Hugh Mc Crimmon
Juan Mendez
Patrice Nichols
David Novick
Ramadan Osmani

Published Wednesday, Jun. 24, 2009


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