GW honors long-serving employees at annual Career Milestones Celebration.
By Ruth Steinhardt
If you’ve ever connected to the Internet from a residence on the George Washington University campus, you may have Rox Anne Seth-Malone to thank.
In the mid 1990s, Ms. Seth-Malone and her three teammates on the original residential networking (ResNet) team took on the monumental task of providing technical support to the students in the newly wired residence halls, giving every student access to the World Wide Web. It was a problem-solving challenge she relished.
“I really loved the brainstorming, figuring out all these solutions,” she said.
Ms. Seth-Malone passed her 25th anniversary at GW in September. This week, GW honored her and other long-serving employees with its annual Career Milestones Celebration, a ceremony it has hosted every year since 2008.
Staff members achieve “milestones” for every five years of service at GW. Employees of five, 10 or 15 years were invited to a recognition ceremony and reception Monday. Those who have completed 20 or more years received an award and were invited, with guests, to a formal luncheon on Tuesday.
Carl Bryant, one of the longest-serving recipients, is still invigorated by what some might consider the hardest part of his job.
“I love the physical portion of my job, like moving office furniture,” said Mr. Bryant, a 45-year veteran of the university’s Facilities Department who has been part of the transition of three university presidents. “I also love to motivate my co-workers.”
In 2016, the Career Milestone Celebration's theme was “Celebrating Your Legacy at GW.” All award recipients received a certificate of recognition and were encouraged to select a gift from a special Career Milestones Gift website, created in partnership with the GW Campus Store.
Honoree Willie Lent has a formidable legacy to celebrate. He has been at GW since 1965, working first in air conditioning and now in carpentry.
One of his favorite projects, he said, was renovating the president’s suite and the eighth floor of Rice Hall.
“It was interesting to see what was there before and fun to have the opportunity to rebuild with custom work,” he said. “I’ve had the opportunity to be creative and solve problems through my craft.”
Willie Lent, who has worked at GW for 50 years, received a standing ovation at the Career Milestone Celebration luncheon Tuesday. (Logan Werlinger/GW Today)
Mr. Lent’s ties to GW run even deeper than his 50-year tenure would suggest: His daughter is a 2008 graduate of the university.
“The people at GW have been the best part,” Mr. Lent said.
The feeling is mutual. Ms. Seth-Malone remembered working with Mr. Lent—a “wonderful person,” she says—and his team to design and build the custom front desk that still stands in the basement of Gelman Library.
“I ran into him in the elevator once, and I was with my colleague,” she remembered, laughing. “I was saying ‘This is the guy! He built the desk!’
“That’s the thing about GW—the people that I get to work with,” Ms. Seth-Malone said. “They keep me coming back.”