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University salutes ‘It’s Happening Heroes’ for restoring campus after flood

by UofL Today last modified Nov 12, 2009 08:17 AM

The Jumbotron said it all.

As almost 200 UofL employees stood on the field during halftime of the UofL football game Saturday night, a video tribute featuring President Jim Ramsey, Provost Shirley Willihnganz, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Larry Cook and all the deans recognized them for their work in restoring campus following the Aug. 4 flood.

“This is a terrific event, just great” said Bill Monahan, maintenance and renovation supervisor. “It’s nice to see all these people receive recognition for their hard work.”

The halftime tribute was part of an event that included tickets to the game and a pregame tailgate reception. Ramsey and Willihnganz played host to more than 800 people at the event in the Cardinal Village “Fun Zone.” There the employees and their guests were treated to food and drinks and live entertainment.

The president and provost walked through the crowd there and thanked many of the employees for their efforts.

“What a great turnout,” Willihnganz said. “I’m pleased we were able to thank so many of them personally, because we do greatly appreciate them.”

The employees also received “It’s Happening Hero” T-shirts and an invitation to take part in the halftime recognition. They lined up in the end zone near the scoreboard as a video showed scenes from the flood, mixed with photos of workers during the recovery efforts and the comments from the deans of each school.

“We faced the worst natural disaster in our university’s history, and yet through their hard work we were able to open for the fall semester less than three weeks later,” Ramsey said. “They really are heroes in our eyes, and we wanted to show them our appreciation.”

The employees seemed to appreciate the event.

“It’s rare today to find both employees and an employer who have such a mutually respectful working relationship,” said plumbing foreman Dan Carter. “And it’s nice to know that our hard work was really appreciated.”

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