PEMBROKE — For 30 years, Gwendolyn Locklear’s warm smile has greeted students and co-workers at the Mary Livermore Library at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Locklear has been a fixture on campus, providing professional service as an executive assistant to seven library directors, from Robert Hersch to Dennis Swanson.
“It has been a wonderful 30 years,” Locklear said. “I have loved it here. I don’t deal directly with the students, but from time to time when I talk with them I let them know how proud I am of them and to always do your best.
“The students are the reason we are here,” she said.
Those same words were echoed by Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings at a ceremony during which Locklear and 88 of her co-workers were recognized for their years of service.
“We are all working together and we are all working toward one common purpose — and as we’ve said since Day 1 — it’s all about the students,” he said.
“Every one of you in this room, you play a role — no matter what you do — in the success of our students and what they will do in the future.”
The annual Service Awards Luncheon was held Feb. 1. The employees clocked in a combined 1,142 years of service to the university and the state.
Recipients were presented a framed plaque signed by Cummings. No matter their role on campus, Cummings encouraged the employees to never lose sight of the impact they make each day.
Crystal Moore values her role as a nurse practitioner in the Student Health Services Department. She has worked at the university for five years.
“I help students stay healthy so they can get back in the classroom and achieve the goals they set out to accomplish when they came here,” she said. “I love staying engaged with the students.
“UNCP is so unique because we not only have the traditional students, but we have commuters, nontraditional students and military students. I really enjoy hearing their stories and learning about their backgrounds.”
Angela Revels, assistant vice chancellor for Human Resources, said the luncheon is a small gesture to recognize employees for their service to the university and to the state.
“Support staff are sometimes taken for granted because there isn’t a direct impact in the classroom, but it is paramount that we have a great housekeeping and grounds team to showcase the campus, a great advising and admissions team,” Revels said.
“Many of the administrative support services are so vital to the success of our students and the university, as a whole.”
The university recognizes all employees every five years and celebrates length-of-service milestones of employee service to total state service.
Mark Locklear is a Public Communications specialist for University Communications & Marketing.