University celebrates retiring faculty with annual banquet

With more than ten faculty members recognized for their years at Murray State now coming to an end, the annual Faculty Banquet last Thursday hosted, awarded and honored many faculty and staff within the University community.

Bonnie Higginson, vice president of Academic Affairs, introduced the faculty retirees for the 2012 year over a meal in the Curris Center’s Ballroom.

The retirees for this year are Jeffery Anderson, Linda Bartnik, Stephen Brown, professors of humanities and fine arts, Head Coach Donald Delaney of the equestrian team, Larry D. Guin, professor of business, Steven Jones, chair in the College of Health Sciences and Human Services, William Koenecke, assistant professor in the College of Education, Ann Landini, associate professor in the department of journalism and mass communications, Alysia Ritter and Camille Serre, professors in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and Brenda Wilson, associate professor of business.

“The following faculty members have contributed significantly to student success and have added great prestige to their programs and professions during their tenure with the University,” Higginson said.

She said the impact the retirees have made on the University is great and long-lasting.

“I would like to tell them they have made a lasting impact at Murray State and that their students and colleagues will not forget them,” she said.

President Randy Dunn and Jack Rose, faculty regent, presented each retiree with a framed certificate.

Mike Young, assistant vice president of Student Affairs, said the retiring faculty had truly given their time to the University.

“The people who are retiring have really devoted themselves,” he said. “They have been great stewards working with students and advocating for students.”

The retirees have also affected others around them, including students.

“They have to love working with students to work at a university, students have been affected by them all, they become dear friends and someone who will be missed,” he said.

Dunn said the celebrations the University hosts are what make the campus special.

“We have all kinds of celebrations and recognition that take place through an academic year and given their years of service and how they really make the campus what it is, I think it’s appropriate that we provide that service,” he said. “I’m very much in favor of that.”

Dunn said the Provost’s office is the office that hosts the event and that he extends his thanks to them.

“When you look at the combined years of service, it really goes over 100 years. It’s faculty that make us what we are in the end,” he said.

The 11 faculty members who were honored at the Banquet served at the University for 261 years collectively, each in unique departments ranging from adolescent, career and special education and chemistry to University Libraries and psychology.


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At the annual banquet, the University awarded 20 plaques and 60 faculty members were honored for their service to the University.

Steven Jones, Chair in the College of Health Sciences and Human Services, was honored with the Distinguished Professor award.

The award was established in 1964 and recognizes a faculty member for teaching excellence and classroom performance, concern for students, professional activity and recognition/service to the University and community.

John Eads, senior from Somerset, Ky., is this year’s recipient of a $1,000 scholarship in Jones’ honor for the 2012-13 year.

William Mulligan Jr., professor of history, received the Distinguished Researcher award. Michael Flinn, assistant professor in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, was awarded the Emerging Scholar and the Max G. The Carman Outstanding Teacher award was given to James Cox, interim chair in the same college

Ranging from 10 to 45 years of service at the University, professors from Murray State’s community were recognized at the Banquet for their numerous years as professors.

Each faculty who had completed 10 years at the University received a service certificate.

Faculty completing 25 years of service to the University were given an institutional pin and their names will be added to a plaque located in Faculty Hall. The provost’s office chose special gifts for faculty who had completed 30 or more years of service to the University.

Roy Helton, professor of English, was the faculty member who had served the longest at Murray State, as a professor for 45 years.