University staff marked career milestones with ceremonies and recognition from GW President Thomas LeBlanc.
By Kristen Mitchell
Joan Broady, B.A. ’12, has seen a lot of changes at George Washington University since her first day as a campus police officer 40 years ago. The university has expanded with new students and buildings, but the GW Police Department has always felt like family.
“Being a campus police officer and being out on the street, you get to know a lot of the GW community,” she said. “I just feel like at this point in my life, it’s a blessing to be able to maintain a job this long.”
Ms. Broady, an administrative sergeant with GW Police, was hired as a patrol officer at age 21 when she was in the Army National Guard and feels like she grew up at the university. Ms. Broady and other long-serving employees were honored at the 2017 Career Milestone Awards ceremonies held this week. The ceremonies recognized employees who have served five, 10, 15 and 20 or more years at the university.
George Washington President Thomas LeBlanc said he was awed by the years of service and dedication staff have given to the university during Monday’s lunch event honoring those who have been working with GW for more than 20 years. The staff makes GW a great place to “work, live and learn,” he said.
“Whether you are serving our students and faculty in academic programs, residence halls, developing the information, financial and fiscal infrastructure, or keeping the university environment safe and clean, you do the work that makes this university great,” Dr. LeBlanc said. “Each and every day what you do ensures that GW provides a world-class education and outstanding service.”
Employees who attended the events were asked to stand and be recognized for their commitment to GW. University leaders recognized them with reminders of the popular movies, songs and cultural events that were happening when they joined the university. The longest-serving GW employee was celebrating his 45-year milestone.
Joan Broady (center), B.A. ’12, an administrative sergeant with GW Police, poses with Dale McLeod, interim vice president for Human Resources, and George Washington President Thomas LeBlanc. She celebrated 40 years with GW in 2017. (Logan Werlinger/ GW Today)
Ms. Broady moved up the ranks of the GWPD during her career, and when the opportunity arose she pursued a bachelor’s degree in police and security studies. It was something she had wanted to do for a long time.
“I kept putting it off because, you know, I’ve been married, I have children, but when the program came into existence, I just really felt like that was something at that time in my life I could pursue and accomplish because I always wanted to get my degree and challenge myself,” she said. “It took a long time, but I was able to do it and I enjoyed it.”
John Kane, assistant director for Facilities Services, celebrated 40 years at GW this year. In March 1981, on what would become one of his most memorable days of work, Mr. Kane was listening to the radio on his way to Foggy Bottom when he heard the news that President Ronald Reagan had been shot. Mr. Kane worked in the operating room at the time and knew then it would be a busy day ahead.
Secret Service personnel stopped him at the door when he got to the hospital and asked for his Social Security number. After a few minutes he was cleared to go inside.
“Secret Service took over the hospital that day,” Mr. Kane said. “With Nancy Reagan at the helm.”
Mr. Kane transitioned to working at the university 20 years ago and today oversees operations of academic and administrative buildings on campus. For him, working at GW is all about the people. He encourages his younger colleagues to pursue happiness through their employment and find a passion for the work.
Mr. Kane and his colleagues do a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure the day-to-day functions of the university run smoothly.
“We are the unsung heroes, and that’s OK,” he said. “It’s not about us, it’s about the students.”
GW staff who celebrated 5-, 10- or 15-year milestones marked the occasion with a ceremony at Lisner Auditorium on Wednesday, followed by a reception at the Marvin Center. While the employees honored this week work in departments across the university, Dr. LeBlanc said they all have one thing in common.
“What unites you is your dedication to GW,” he said.