UVA Administrators Serve Up Appreciation to Employees Who Serve Every Day

March 12, 2019 By Anne E. Bromley, anneb@virginia.edu Anne E. Bromley, anneb@virginia.edu

The University of Virginia’s Bicentennial Commission on Tuesday partnered with University Human Resources to show some appreciation for the contributions of the thousands of employees who daily serve UVA in myriad ways.  

President Jim Ryan and other administrative leaders from across Grounds suited up with aprons and chef hats (or “toques”) to serve UVA employees a free, hot breakfast at the Fresh Food Company in Newcomb Hall. Among others taking on the server role were Carla Williams, director of athletics; Jennifer “J.J.” Wagner Davis, executive vice president and chief operating officer; Craig Benson, dean of the School of Engineering; Allan Stam, dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; and Alex Hernandez, dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

“This is one of my favorite events of the year, where leaders serve breakfast in appreciation of the staff community for making UVA such a great place to work,” said Kelley Stuck, chief human resource officer, who also took a shift serving breakfast. “This year we also want to say an extra ‘thank you’ for embracing the changes in HR and the move to Workday.”

Workers from dozens of offices and departments lined up for pancakes, sausage, oatmeal, eggs, fruit and gluten-free options. 

The sunny morning brought out an estimated 1,200 employees – unlike the first time the annual staff appreciation breakfast was held in 2012. The event had to be postponed because of a snowstorm. It snowed again two weeks later on the morning it was rescheduled, but the University remained open, so employees were invited to bring their children whose schools were closed.

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J.J. Wagner Davis serving eggs to UVA staff
Jennifer “J.J.” Wagner Davis, executive vice president and chief operating officer, who started her job Nov. 5, paused to help serve scrambled eggs and sausage to employees.
Cafeteria full of staff members eating
Hundreds of employees sat for a spell to enjoy a free breakfast – one way University leaders said thank you.
Women sit at a table eating together
Employees enjoyed pancakes, eggs and fresh fruit among the items on the menu.
Three men stand together for a picture
Workers from Facilities Management also enjoyed taking the time to enjoy the hot breakfast.
Woman placing pancakes on a persons plate
Colette Sheehy serves as the senior vice president for operations and on Tuesday she also served pancakes.
Two employees embrace each other in a hug
Not just students, but staff members, including Associate Dean of Students Aaron Laushway, sometimes stop for a hug from “Ms. Kathy” – a/k/a Kathy McGruder, who works at the dining hall every day.
Balloon letters that say Thank you for 200 years
Balloon messages made for a festive atmosphere at the Fresh Food Company on the second floor of Newcomb Hall.