Retired staff and faculty fêted and thanked for their service to the University

More than 40 years ago, John Lennox was a young professor teaching English at York University and Roger Miller had just logged three years of work in the maintenance department that preceded the current Campus Services & Business Operations. On Nov. 22, Lennox and Miller were among 15 long-serving faculty and staff present during the University’s annual celebration of retiring faculty and staff.

In his welcoming remarks, President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri thanked the retirees for their years of dedicated service to the University. “It is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with people who are really responsible for the great University we have today,” he said. “Each of you has made tremendous contributions to York University.

“I found out that two people present have served York for more than 40 years and three people more than 30 years and seven of you have served more than 20 years,” he said.

Right: York’s president recalls his first visit in 1974 to a windy Keele campus during his welcoming address to retiring faculty and staff. Click on the image to view a slide show of photographs taken at the celebration.

Shoukri recalled his first visit to York University in 1974 to attend a lecture. As a graduate student studying at McMaster University in Hamilton, Shoukri joked that his first impression of York was that it was very far away. “There was this big building in the middle of nowhere with a large ramp that looked quite impressive,” he said. “I remember walking from the parking lot to the building and experiencing this unbelievable wind that was so strong that I was almost blown away. It never occurred to me back then that one day I would have the responsibility of running this University.

“The York University of today is incredibly different. It is a leading university in the country, second largest in the province and has tremendous strength in almost all areas of academic endeavours,” he said. “When I think of the strength of York University, I think about the people who are here today who helped make it happen. To those who are retiring today, I thank you for your service to the University, the country and for people like me who enjoy working for York University.”

Those present at the celebration traded stories, reunited with old friends and enjoyed the celebration. Gerd Knauft and his wife spoke about their plans to take a dream trip (or two). With their grown children well established in their own lives, the couple said they had a number of destinations in mind. Knauft retired after 22 years of service with the custodial department in York’s Campus Services & Business Operations division.

Above: York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri (far left) and Rhonda Lenton, associate vice-president academic (second from right), congratulate retiring faculty members following the presentation of York pins
Faculty members who attended the retirement luncheon included:
  • Professor John Davis, Office of the Dean, Osgoode Hall Law School (10 years of service);
  • Professor John Lennox, Department of English, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (41 years of service);
  • Professor Greg Malszecki, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health (24 years of service);
  • Patricia Murray, senior lecturer, School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health (38 years of service);
  • Professor David Scadding, Department of Design, Faculty of Fine Arts (32 years of service).
Above: President Shoukri (far right) and Sharon Hooper, assistant vice-president human resources & chief human resources officer (second from right), congratulate retiring staff members

Staff members who attended the retirement luncheon included: 

  • Jean Anglin, Assessment & Document Processing, Admissions, Communications & Client Services (19 years of service);
  • Svatava Hermanek, MBA Program, Schulich School of Business (24 years of service);
  • Colin Hissa, Transportation Services, Campus Services & Business Operations (CSBO) (20 years of service);
  • Marie Holubec, Department of Visual Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts (26 years of service);
  • Gerd Knauft, Custodial Services, CSBO (22 years of service);
  • Maria Leone, York University Apartment Operations, CSBO (27 years of service);
  • Esther Maciuk, Pre-Service Program, Faculty of Education (18 years of service);
  • Roger Miller, Grounds & Vehicles, CSBO (43 years of service);
  • Pam Montoute, Student Financial Services (37 years of service);
  • Marion Stasiuk, Office of the Dean, Faculty of Science & Engineering (23 years of service).

Collectively, the group attending the luncheon has devoted 404 years of service to the University. The University Events & Community Relations unit organizes the president’s event for retirees annually. The event was held in the Private Dining Room in the Seymour Schulich Building on York’s Keele campus.