Campus to honor long-term Stanford staff at Thursday's annual Springfest

All employees are invited to celebrate Stanford's diversity and the longevity of many of their colleagues on Thursday at Frost Amphitheater.

L.A. Cicero Career Springfest

Provost John Etchemendy, center, stands with the employees celebrating their 40th year at Stanford at the 2014 Multicultural Springfest at Frost Amphitheater.

In 2014, 146 Stanford staff members reached 30-, 35-, 40- and 45-year milestones of service to the university. That adds up to a combined total of 4,865 years.

That individual commitment and collective service dedication will take center stage on Thursday, May 21, when the university comes together for the 2015 Cardinal at Work: Celebrating Stanford Careers at Springfest event.

The celebration takes place at Frost Amphitheater from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine.

There will be Asian-themed cuisine and music by the Latin Rhythm Boys, which includes Chris Gonzalez Clarke, a staff member in the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education. Other staff performers include a solo vocal performance by Anita Black, meeting services coordinator for Tresidder Meeting Services; a classical Indian dance, featuring Akila Rao, a facilities planner in the School of Medicine's Office of Facilities Planning & Management; and a Chinese fan dance by staff members enrolled in a HIP Chinese dance class. There also will be T-shirt giveaways and art displays.

"For the past 20 years, the Multicultural Springfest has celebrated the diversity of our staff. It has also become a special day in which we honor staff who have contributed more than 30 years of their lives in support of Stanford's mission," said Rosa Gonzalez, director of the Diversity & Access Office.

The celebration builds on the success of the retooled event last year, when the Diversity & Access Office, longtime sponsors of the annual Multicultural Springfest, joined forces with University Human Resources (UHR) to honor long-serving staffers. 

"For the second year, our community will come together to honor the long-serving commitment of more than 140 staff members who have contributed three and four decades or more to the university," said David Jones, vice president for human resources. "UHR looks forward to continuing this tradition of celebrating staff careers for many years to come."

Jones and President John Hennessy will be on hand this year to recognize the honorees.

In advance of the event, UHR has again dedicated a website to those being honored. On that site, 85 honorees share their favorite moments at Stanford and offer advice to new employees.  

Naheed Zaheer, one of the 30-year honorees, who is a librarian in the Law School Library, said her favorite campus scene is "coming down Bowdoin Street, surrounded by trees and autumn color bursts, the wild flowers that spring up around graduation time, and the tall trees between the Post Office and the Law School in front of the Crown Quad." One of her points of pride was making the library portal entry and exit system work during Chelsea Clinton's undergraduate years. "The Secret Service agents were always a few steps behind her, and they wouldn't stop to show ID at the entrance, nor would they open their briefcases when leaving the library."     

For Ray McKee, an audiovisual supervisor in Land, Buildings & Real Estate, it is fitting that Thursday's event will take place in Frost, his favorite campus venue.  McKee, who will be honored for 45 years of service, has fond memories of being on campus for the university's Centennial Celebration in 1991. He advised new hires to "discover some of the many things that Stanford has to offer outside of your job. Ask yourself what you can do to give back or contribute."

As a new feature this year, UHR has made it possible for colleagues, friends and family to leave special congratulatory messages for individual honorees.  To give someone a shout out, click on their name to get to their full profile, then scroll down to the "Add New Comment" section.