While the UNT System Holiday Luncheon on Thursday was filled with joy and more than a few laughs, it was also a bittersweet occasion as system employees bid farewell to Chancellor Lesa Roe, who heads into retirement after four-plus remarkable years as chancellor.
The first woman to serve in the role, Chancellor Roe leaves behind an impactful legacy. Her leadership helped to raise the bar academically, increase research capacity to new levels, drive greater efficiency and financial stability, build a culture of diversity and inclusion, and educate and graduate more students across the system than ever before -- and all this occurred while navigating through a global pandemic for nearly the last two years.
2021 Holiday Luncheon video photo album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1t9N-gfM44
"Together, we are setting records in almost every critical success metric as it relates to our strategic goals -- enrollment, academic excellence, research growth and fundraising," Chancellor Roe told UNT System Administration staff gathered at the UNT Student Union as well as others who attended virtually. "Today's event is a celebration of your hard work and efforts. We wanted to have a party to celebrate you and to thank you for all that you do for us year-round."
Clearly, though, this was a day to celebrate the chancellor. After several Cabinet members expressed heartfelt words of gratitude that did not leave Chancellor Roe dry-eyed, she was presented with a framed portrait, an iconic photograph of her during a UNT commencement ceremony giving a high-five to a graduate.
However, as Chancellor Roe reiterated, success is achieved through teamwork. Several UNT System Administration Staff were recognized as recipients of the annual Chancellor's Awards. Congratulations to the following recipients, and the many who were nominated:
- Chancellor's Excellence Award for 2021: Katy McDaniel, Assistant Vice Chancellor & Chief HR Officer, UNT
- Outstanding Customer Service Award: Godson Adadevoh, Director of Budget
- Outstanding Collaboration Award: Carolyn Cross, UNT Health Science Center Director of Contract Administration
- DE&I Agent of Change Award: Ron Brade, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Procurement Officer
- Star Supervisor Award: Jaime Thompson, Business Operations Manager, System Facilities
- Creative Innovator Award: Anthony Minter, Deputy Chief Communications Officer
Finally, a holiday luncheon would not be complete without an ugly sweater contest. While the competition was fierce, Paula Bearden, ODE Organizational Development Consultant, Human Resources, easily won as the people's choice, receiving the loudest ovations from the crowd.
View photos of the sweater contest and much more in our 2021 Holiday Luncheon photo album on Facebook.