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Award ceremony honors faculty, staff

Chief Student Affairs Officer Loretta Rahmani accepts the 2019 Spirit of La Verne Award in the Athletic Pavilion on May 17. The Spirit of La Verne Award recognizes faculty, staff, students and alumni who are dedicated to and passionate about the core values of the University. Rahmani has attended almost every student event this year. / photo by Jaysin Brandt

Rex Sample
Staff Writer 

The University of La Verne held a ceremony honoring faculty and staff last Friday and presented awards to those who have worked to further the four core values of the University. 

Faculty were awarded for their time at the University ranging from 5 years to 40 years. 

Several members of ULV’s faculty and staff have been involved with the University for decades, like George Keeler, professor of journalism.

Keeler was recognized for 40 years at the University.

“The University has grown up in so many ways,” Keeler said. “I think one of the biggest differences is that the University has gotten big and not as tutorialistic.”

Every year the University honors individuals who uphold its core values. 

The award is given to those who embody their commitment and passion in at least two or more core values.

Loretta Rahmani, chief student affairs officer, was awarded the Spirit of La Verne Award for her dedication to the University’s core values. 

“If we try to live our lives with integrity, then our four core values are going to come through with what we do,” Rahmani said.

Over the last 30 years Rahmani has devoted her time to leading the division of student affairs at the University.

“It’s the students. There’s no way I could have been here 30 years without you, because you are the life and blood,” Rahmani said. 

The ceremony honored the University employees’ accomplishments through their service, scholarship and sabbaticals.

Eleven professors will use their sabbaticals to immerse themselves in another culture, further their knowledge in their field and bring back what they learned to share with their students.

Beatriz Gonzalez, chief diversity officer, said that Rahmani won the Spirit of La Verne award for her ability to make an impression on so many students and faculty members while overseeing all of the co-curricular programs and services for students.

“The ceremony is a great opportunity to celebrate some of the great faculty and staff we have, to honor and recognize them for their years of achievements and excellency in the classroom, excellency in service, and excellency in scholarships,” said Provost Jonathan Reed.

Robert Ruiz, director of forensics, won the Excellence in Teaching award and expressed his gratitude not only to his colleagues, but to his students as well. 

“I am inspired by my fellow faculty members that have been here for 10 years, 15 years and 20 years. To hear those stories are great,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz said he saw this ceremony as a way to recognize those who have done a lot for the University, because it offers a way for the University to come together and create its own community.

For the University, the celebration of the work that faculty and staff did throughout this year was a way to say thank you.

“In some ways it’s a bittersweet day because we have so many faculty and staff retiring who have contributed for decades and really shaped the University into what it is today,” Reed said.

Rex Sample can be reached at rex.sample@laverne.edu.

Rex Sample
Jaysin Brandt

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