(February 3, 2011)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Morning Call recognizes faculty and staff

SHREVEPORT, La. (Centenary News Service) — Despite overcast skies and temperatures hovering below the freezing mark, Homecoming 2011 kicked off today inside with the President's Morning Call, an annual tradition that honors long-serving members of the staff and faculty.

"The weather is giving us a chilly start to what I know will be a fabulous weekend of events," said Dr. David Rowe, President of Centenary College, joking about the usually cold temperatures and snow pellets falling. "Given the weather conditions, I am excited that so many alumni have returned to campus."

Members of the Centenary community gathered in the Whited Room where the temperatures were more a little warmer, and celebrated the accomplishments of their peers. Those receiving awards included service awards, the President's Excellence Award, the Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Charlton Lyons Summer Research Award.

"It is important that we commemorate the founding of two great institutions, and to reflect on what our founder's had in mind when they began and pull forward the values of both institutions into the future," continued Dr. Rowe. "This institution is not a set of documents or buildings, but a web of relationships. At the center of those relationships are the faculty and staff of this institution who nurture generation after generation of students. Today we celebrate those who have demonstrated through their loyalty and service to Centenary, a desire and drive to draw through the years, the mission, the vision and values that have endured since 1825. It is an honor to present these awards"

Staff and faculty recognized for their years with the College included:
*10 years: Francine Campbell, Theresa Rinaudo, Dr. Michelle Wolkomir
*15 years: Dr. Thomas Stone, David Williams
*20 years: Dr. George Newton, Dr. David Otto, Dr. Juan Rodriguez
*25 years: Dr. Ernest Blakeney, Michael Gideon, Patty Roberts, Lynette Viskozki,
*30 years: Dr. Harold Christensen, Dr. Beth Leuck, Dr. Edwin Leuck, Dr. Samuel Shepherd

Dr. Rowe then presented the Charlton H. Lyons Summer Research Award was presented to Dr. Lisa Nicoletti, associate professor of art & visual culture. Nicoletti plans on using the financial award to conduct research on Otto Frank, father of the famous diarist Anne Frank. Frank was an aspiring amateur photographer in the 1920s and 30s whose photographs were used to illustrate his daughter's life in books, exhibits and documentaries. Her research will hopefully position him into the photo-historical record as a premiere 35 millimeter photographer.

President Rowe next revealed the award recipients of the President's Excellence Award for 2010 and the Teacher of the Year Award, two of the most prestigious honors at the College.

The first award, the President's Excellence Award which honors a staff member with exemplary loyalty and service to the College, was presented to a member of the staff who has seen 15 percent of the 186 years of Centenary's history.

"When you have an opportunity to examine the success of the institutions, you try to isolate the variables so that you can examine what has been constant," said Dr. Rowe. "You look at the beauty, the passion and the strength that have held things together."

The recipient, according to Dr. Rowe, has served five different provosts, keeping the second floor of Hamilton Hall going as provosts come and go.
"She is the one who provides continuity, training new deans as they come along, and preserving the traditions that must be preserved. She has an indelible mark across campus and many could not imagine this campus without her."

It is then he announced that Jeannie Clements, assistant to the provost was this year's award winner. Clements has been at the College for more than 30 years and according to Dr. Rowe, is the glue that keeps the academic program going.

The final award was the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. This year, Dr. Susan Brayford, professor of religious studies, was presented the prestigious award.

Reading some of the comments written on her behalf by faculty, staff and students, Dr. Rowe acknowledged what an extraordinary teacher and mentor Centenary College had in Dr. Brayford.

"She is a wonderful teacher who wholeheartedly loves her students who goes above and beyond, and instills a passion for knowledge in her students," Rowe read. "She is simply amazing and one of the best professors I have ever had...she has informed, engaged and enlivened deep faith in Centenary students."

After the awards were presented, Dr. Rowe concluded the ceremony by congratulating all the winners, but also thanked everyone in the room for what they do every day to carry on the work and mission of the College.

"I encourage you to honor one another as you go about the day-to-day work," he said. "It's important that today, on Founders' Day, that we set aside time and set apart people who have made extraordinary contributions to this institution and her students. But I think the honorees would be the first to say that when we honor them we honor each and every one of you who are engaged day in and day out in transforming lives for the transformation of this world."

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and has been recognized as "One of the Best 373 Colleges" by the Princeton Review and one of "America's Best Colleges" and one of "America's Best Private Colleges" by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.