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Announcement of Witmer and Meliora Awards

March 20, 2008

President Joel Seligman has announced two awards to honor exceptional University staff.

"We have terrific staff," he said. "We recognize the outstanding contributions of faculty and students through professorships, teaching awards, and prizes. Earlier this year I announced the creation of the Staff Community Service Award, given posthumously to Latasha Shaw. I am delighted today to announce the creation of two additional awards to celebrate the vital contributions made by our staff." The awards will be funded initially from the Presidential Strategic Opportunities Fund.

The Witmer Award for Distinguished Service recognizes staff members for their exceptional accomplishments, leadership, and dedication to the University, as demonstrated over the course of their careers. Intended as a "lifetime achievement" award, it honors full- and part-time staff with five years' experience or more. President Seligman explained his decision to name the award after Board of Trustees Chair G. Robert Witmer Jr., a 1959 graduate of the University.

"When I reflected on Bob's lifetime of service to this University and to the community of Rochester, I could think of few better ways to recognize the extraordinary individual that he is than through a staff award for distinguished service," President Seligman said.

The Meliora Award recognizes staff members whose work performance over the past year exemplifies the University's motto, Meliora, or "ever better." The award honors specific positive contributions by an individual or staff team in an area such as service to constituents, process improvement, or cost reduction. Full- and part-time active staff from any division of the University are eligible; nominees must have at least 12 months of service to the University.

Witmer Award recipients will receive a salary increase of $1,500 and free University parking for a year. Individual Meliora Award recipients will receive $1,000 and free University parking for a year. Team Meliora Award recipients will receive $3,000 to be used to support their University unit or organization's work. This year's Witmer and Meliora Award recipients will be honored at the May 2008 University of Rochester Board of Trustees meeting.

Recipients of the Witmer and Meliora awards will be chosen by a selection committee from nominations submitted by current University faculty, students, and staff. The nomination deadline is April 15.

Further information and nomination forms for both awards can be found at the Human Resources homepage.