[Press & Publications] Silver Anniversary Lunch Marks Over 500 Years' Service

June 2000

No 127


Over a total of 500 years’ service will be recognised at a special reception being held at the University of Leicester in honour of those staff marking 25 years at the University this year.

Those who have notched up a quarter of a century will join the Vice-Chancellor Professor Bob Burgess in a celebratory lunch.

Sitting down to a silver anniversary meal in the Gartree and Rutland Room in the University’s Charles Wilson Building will be 23 employees from all sections of the University. Included are academics, members of the administration, and representatives of clerical, catering, estate and building staff.

The lunch will take place on Monday, June 26, at 1 pm in the Gartree and Rutland Room in the Charles Wilson building.

Professor Burgess said: “This informal occasion provides an opportunity for me, on behalf of the University, to say a heartfelt thank you to all those whose loyalty and dedication to the University of Leicester has made it the world-class institution that it is.

“Twenty five years ago, the University of Leicester had 4,335 students. Now the University has more than 3,000 staff and nearly 17,000 registered students. These members of staff, and their colleagues – some of whom have been here longer - have seen some of the most momentous changes in higher education.

“Not only have they coped with the complexity of these changes, they have positively contributed to the progress of the University – these colleagues embody the principle of lifelong learning to which this University, and the society in which we live, is committed.”

Among those celebrating is Professor of Epidemiology, Michael Clarke. He recalled: “I arrived from London in 1974 to join the embryonic Medical School staff. The first year was a dream -no students, few meetings, a clean slate on which to change the world, optimism everywhere.

“Now lots of students, meetings, staff and the challenge of the Leicester Warwick Medical School link. In 5 years from now I hope we see this as a renaissance.”

Academic Registrar Kathy Williams said: “When I joined the University in 1975, student records were kept on cards, typewriters were manual, there were no photocopiers and student numbers were counted on our fingers!

“Leicester was a very friendly place then because of its small size, but it has miraculously remained a friendly place, notwithstanding its four-fold growth. This is why working here is such a privilege and pleasure and why the silver anniversary meal is bound to be a happy occasion.”

Also joining in the special celebration is Ann Key, the supervisor of the switchboard team which directs the thousands of calls that come into the University.

Starting as a telephone operator, Ann became supervisor in 1986 when the new switchboard was installed. She and the four part-time telephonists are experts at handling a diverse range of queries in a friendly and helpful way. “I love my job and we are work very well together here,” said Ann.

“We know that we are the introduction to the University for many people and that we have to be helpful. I don’t think people realise that we have calls about almost every subject that they might read about in the newspaper - whether it is an earthquake or something going on in outer space!

“It is a really interesting job. I love it -I would not have been here all this time if I didn’t.”

Ann added that she is delighted to be invited to the luncheon: “This special lunch is super. I feel part of a team and appreciated.”

Note to Picturedesk: Photo opportunity of the staff at 1 pm in the Gartree and Rutland Room, 4th Floor, Charles Wilson Building, University of Leicester.

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Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: 26 June 2000 09:51
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