To the cheers of their friends, family and colleagues, 12 Fordham employees received the 1841 Award, honoring their long service to the University, in a ceremony Nov. 13 at Duane Library on the Rose Hill campus.
Speakers regaled the crowd with stories of the employees’ dedication and good cheer.
Lydia Ocasio, executive secretary in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, inspired the Graduate Student Association to create the Lydia Ocasio Award, said Stephen Freedman, Ph.D., senior vice president for academic affairs/chief academic officer.
Teresa Joran, another honoree, gave extra effort as a custodian. “She used to say, ‘These kids are here to study, and the last thing they need to worry about is dirty bathrooms,’” said Marc Valera, associate vice president for facilities management.
The 1841 Award, named for the year of Fordham’s founding, was commissioned by then-president James C. Finlay, S.J., in 1982 to recognize staff members on their 20th and 40th anniversaries of service.
Custodian Raymond Horne was the lone 40-year employee.
“Throughout the ceremony this afternoon, we saw Fordham’s best,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “We saw in these men and women love and devotion—love for our students, devotion to the University and love and devotion to their families.”
The other honorees were: Teresa Arias, executive secretary at Fordham College at Lincoln Center; Priscilla McCoy, academic records representative in enrollment services; Marilyn McNeill, office representative in enrollment services; Nancy Pabon, administrative assistant in admissions at Fordham College of Liberal Studies; Lena Popovic, a clerk in the Fordham post office; Nelson Morales, information officer in Fordham’s security department; and custodians Cleveland Dick, Gildal Mateo and Luisa Piccolino.
Co-workers received the awards on behalf of Arias and McCoy, who could not attend.