University staff celebrate at end-of-year picnic

Just days after Radford University celebrated the Class of 2015, staff members gathered to celebrate the end of another exciting school year.

The Staff Senate hosted the annual Staff Picnic on May 13 by the riverside where hundreds of staff enjoyed picnic-food staples and beautiful weather.

President Penelope W. Kyle welcomed staff and thanked them for contributing to a successful commencement weekend.

"I think that was the best commencement day that we have had since I have been here," Kyle said of the May 9 ceremony. "I am always so proud when people come to campus and see what a gorgeous place this is and how well it is tended. That success on Saturday is attributed to all of you."


Betty Smith, winner of the Bea Covington Award with President Kyle at the Staff Picnic.

Staff contributions go well beyond commencement weekend, President Kyle continued.

"You tend these grounds and these buildings as if they were your own," she said. "You love our students. You keep us safe. Your special stamp is on Radford University. It would not be what it is without all of you."

President Kyle announced the Bea Covington Award, established in 2006 to honor the late wife of former president of Radford University, Douglas Covington. Individuals are nominated by colleagues and award guidelines state the recipient must "consistently demonstrate a positive attitude and treat others with dignity, respect and kindness."

Honored this year was Betty Smith, an accounts payable technician in the Accounting Services department.

Smith, who has worked at the university for 27 years, was lauded for being helpful, courteous, hard-working and going above and beyond normal duties. Smith said she was honored to be given an award tied to such "a Godly woman."

Also presented at the luncheon was the Keepin' it Green Award, which recognizes an employee who exemplifies sustainability initiatives at Radford University. This year's recipient was Samuel Burton, a recycling technician. Smith has been an employee since 2004 and has served in his current position for six years.


Employee Award winners at this year's Staff Picnic were Samuel Burton (Keep'n it Green) and Betty Y. Smith (Bea Covington Award).

May 14, 2015