Fellow Bears, 

 Today is National Employee Appreciation Day and I am filled with gratitude to be President of such a great institution, surrounded by so many wonderful faculty and staff. Thank you for the important work that you do to make UNC a Students First university. I am very appreciative of all your contributions. 

It is hard to believe that it has been one year since we held our last Staff Recognition Banquet—the final large employee gathering to be held on campus in 2020.  Navigating the personal and professional challenges of the last year has been difficult. I know many of you have put in longer hours and worked harder than ever to support students throughout the pandemic to ensure they can remain engaged and continue to make progress toward degree completion in as safe a manner as possible. I appreciate your resilience, perseverance, and daily contributions to our students’ success under these extraordinary circumstances. Your efforts have helped to ensure our students can attain their goals and dreams—and in this year, it seems even more certain that your work to support their success will have a lasting impact.

This year would have marked the 50th annual staff recognition banquet. This is one of my favorite events of the year and something I look forward to months in advance. While we are unable to host the banquet this year, it is still very important to publicly recognize our Employee of the Year award winners, employee milestone service awards, and our recent and upcoming retirees. 

Congratulations to Ilissa Alexander, Assistant Director of Recruitment Systems, who has been named the CSC Employee of the Year and Rosa Law, Director of the Advising Center, Kenneth W. Monfort College of Business, who is the PASC Employee of the Year. Both individuals received multiple nominations from their colleagues with high praise for their many contributions to their units and the university. It is evident that Ilissa and Rosa are very valuable members of their respective teams and the UNC community at large. Thank you, Ilissa and Rosa, for your great work, you are deserving of this recognition. 

We have prepared a webpage celebrating the employees we would have traditionally honored at the staff banquet. This includes retirees, service awards, and a list of the employees nominated for the CSC and PASC Employee of the Year award. Please know how appreciative I am of ALL of our faculty and staff. I am very much looking forward to seeing everyone on campus this fall as we plan to return to full in-person learning. Thank you for making UNC the wonderful university it is! 

Rowing, Not Drifting, 

 Andy Feinstein's signature

Andy Feinstein