July 31, 2008 — Maria Salazar, executive assistant to the dean at the McIntire School of Commerce, is this year's recipient of the University of Virginia Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award. The award is given annually by the association to a classified employee who has exhibited leadership qualities that serve as an inspiring example to his or her colleagues and who has rendered this service with distinction while being in direct and frequent contact with U.Va. students, faculty and alumni. The $2,500 gift is funded through the Jefferson Trust.
Salazar was lauded for her 24 years of service under three deans, as well as for her support of faculty and for nurturing relationships with alumni.
"Maria is the epitome of the qualifications established for the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award," said David Williams, professor emeritus of history and chairman of the award's nominating committee. "She is a friend and confidant of faculty and students. Members of the McIntire alumni advisory boards know her for her good humor, warm smile and efficiency in handling their requests. More than a few students are thankful to her for allowing them to practice their Spanish in conversations with her."
(Also recognized by the Z Society in 2003 for her service, Salazar has fostered an international presence in the school through her background in South America and by helping Spanish-speaking students.)
McIntire Dean Carl Zeithaml echoed Williams' sentiments. "The entire McIntire community congratulates Maria for this well-deserved award," he said. "The University and the Commerce School benefit every day from Maria's dedication and commitment to her work."
She was presented the award April 25 during the association's annual spring luncheon.