Anniversary Party

By Steven Poskanzer

President Steven PoskanzerPresident Steven Poskanzer Photo: Sara Rubinstein ’98 Each April our campus community gathers for an important Carleton event: the Employee Recognition Celebration. We celebrate the many years of successful work and dedication of our friends and colleagues. We also have an opportunity to learn about and honor the varied and essential roles we take on collectively to run a great liberal arts college. 

I love learning about the paths that have led colleagues to Carleton and how their work here evolves. Some of us have served in the same office, academic department, or location for many years, even though our duties and how we fulfill them may have dramatically shifted over time. Some of us have worked in a number of areas across campus. No matter what departments we serve in, we all grow and learn in our careers at Carleton. So when I look out over the gathered assemblage of faculty and staff members at this annual event, I am always struck by the precious reservoir of institutional knowledge in the room. 

As we honor colleagues marking significant employment milestones, from 5-year anniversaries all the way up to 45 years and retirement, I realize that expertise is only the first of several common themes that link us. We also share a genuine commitment to Carleton’s mission, which is to build a challenging and supportive academic environment for students and to create new knowledge. This shared purpose is what gives our work meaning, and it binds us together, too, because it takes all of us to provide the breadth and quality of education and support found at Carleton.

We form close bonds with colleagues not only to advance our work, but also to imbue that work with fun and camaraderie. We all appreciate having the chance to work alongside and learn from peers who are enthusiastic about solving problems, but who don’t take themselves too seriously and who like to laugh. This high level of trust and regard for our colleagues extends within and between departments and offices; we’re lucky that it has existed here for generations.

Last, and most important, we are all deeply committed to Carleton’s students and their success. I have found that, to a person, Carleton employees recognize that, no matter what we do, our responsibilities boil down to supporting these wonderful young people and helping them grow, learn, and thrive. We all admire our students’ intellectual curiosity, creativity, and character—and we are proud to nurture those qualities.

We should—and I know we do—feel a duty to pass these significant and delicate pieces of our culture along—intact—to future colleagues.  And that’s one of the reasons why we celebrate Carleton’s good fortune in having hired the honorees at each year’s Employee Recognition Celebration. They embody the distinctive values that prevail here, and I consider it a privilege to work with them.

—President Steven Poskanzer

See a video on Carleton employees who marked 35, 40, and 45 years of service.

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