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Wilmington College recognizes service milestones; Becky Haines honored for 50 years

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo - Create Article
Interim President Corey Cockerill presented Becky Haines with the "Golden Mic" Award in a humorous reference to Haines' 50 years at Wilmington College. The fine arts technician has designed the audio component for hundreds of WC Theatre shows. She also regularly makes announcements at programs in Heiland Theatre. (Submitted photo)
Randy Sarvis, Wilmington College

Wilmington College saluted 28 employees representing 410 years of service to the institution Tuesday (Aug. 15) during the Opening Year Meeting.

The annual event assembles faculty and staff as a community to set intentions for the upcoming academic year while also welcoming new colleagues and recognizing service milestones.

Fall semester classes start Monday (Aug. 21).

A significant chunk of those 410 years belongs to Becky Haines, who joined the College on Sept. 19, 1973, following her graduation from WC. The longtime technical director of fine arts earned a standing ovation while being thanked for her 50 years of service.

A half-century ago! Back in 1973, a gallon of milk cost 89 cents, gas was 39 cents a gallon and bread could be purchased for 35 cents a loaf. “The Exorcist” won film of the year, and Best Actor/Actress Oscars went to Marlon Brando for “The Godfather” and Liza Minnelli for her role in “Cabaret.” The top-selling song was "Tie a Yellow Ribbon 'Round the Old Oak Tree" by Tony Orlando & Dawn, and Chevrolet's Monte Carlo was Motor Trend's Car of the Year. Tuition, room and board at WC was $3,060 for the year.

Bob Metcalf was recognized for 35 years of service as a carpenter with the Physical Plant staff. In 1988, gas was 90 cents, George Michael's "Faith" was song-of-the-year and the Pontiac Grand Prix was Car of the Year, while Michael Douglas and Cher won Oscars for “Wall Street” and “Moonstruck,” respectively. Tuition, room and board at WC was $9,265.

Twenty-five-year milestone awards went to a pair of stalwart coaches, Trip Breen, head swimming coach and aquatics director, and Ron Combs, head cross-country and track & field coach. “Titanic” was the top-grossing film, gas was $1.06 and the Chevy Corvette was Car of the Year. College costs were $17,990.

Five employees arrived 20 years ago in 2003, including Jennifer Walker, associate professor of athletic training; Dr. Michael Goldcamp, professor of chemistry; Randy Gerber, Academic Farm manager and now director of Physical Plant; Dr. Stephen Potthoff, professor of religion & philosophy; and Dr. Sylvia Stevens, vice president for community & business relations. Gas was $1.59, “Finding Nemo” was the most popular film and WC's tuition, room and board was $24,217.

Recognized for 15-year milestones were Dr. Charles Dick, associate professor of accounting; Dr. Coreen Cockerill, interim president and professor of communication arts and agriculture; Leslie Nichols, assistant to the Board of Trustees and accounts payable clerk; Dr. Marlaina Leppert-Wahl, associate professor of political science; and Dr. Ursula McTaggart, professor of English.

Celebrating 10 years of service were Christonia Fouch, administrative assistant in Admissions; Daniel Harp, associate director of Admissions, graduate and international recruiting; Deborah Triance, Student One Stop representative; Dr. Elizabeth Haynes-Wiget, associate professor of mathematics; Paula Stewart, assistant swimming coach and director of wellness; and Sandra Pierson, admission receptionist.

Five-year service recognition went to Dr. Amanda Rollins, assistant professor of biology; Christina Murdock, assistant director of marketing and admission operations; George Dimidik, director of Information Technology; Laura Johnson, associate director of Student One Stop and loan coordinator; Sara Culler Myers, assistant professor of economics; Sara Scott, director of financial operations; Dr. Timothy Burgoyne, assistant professor of management; and Wendy Grab, assistant professor of social science.