Presented by Davidson College President Carol Quillen on August 22, 2012.

We are so pleased to announce a new award for employees, and today is the first time that this award will be given out. Some of you will remember parents Kathy and Gary Parsons, and their son Mike, who graduated in 2008. In appreciation for the service of hourly (non-exempt) staff members to Davidson College, and in particular for the caring way in which hourly staff interacted with and supported their son, the Parsons family has established the Spirit of Davidson Award, with a prize of $850. This is to be given annually to an hourly employee who has been at the college at least three years, who acts in accordance with the Honor Code, and who excels in service and support to Davidson College and its students. I am so pleased to present this award for the first time here today, and I hope you will join me in thanking the Parsons family for making this award possible.

About a month ago students were invited to nominate employees for this award. Our winner received as many votes as the other nominees put together, and students said the following of this employee:

• There are few employees of Davidson College who provide service with such love and enthusiasm.
• He genuinely cares for the students here.
• I was working on a paper in the union. The café was closed, by when he saw me working by myself, he told me to come down and gave me a cup of coffee and made me some breakfast to keep me going. That morning, when I finally finished my paper, I stopped by the cafe on my way out and he gave me a hug, told me he was proud, and to get to class! He deserves this award because he is humble, hard-working, hilarious, and loved by so many students at the college!
• I have never witnessed someone with so much heart and love for people. He embodies the essence of what Davidson strives to instill in its students: individuals who are passionate, caring, warm-hearted, and genuinely concerned for the needs of all of humanity. He is more than deserving of this award for his dedicated service to impacting and inspiring Davidson students to genuinely love and to give from the heart.

Please join me in congratulating the first winner of the Spirit of Davidson Award, Rickey Forney.

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