St. Petersburg College celebrated the third annual Career Service Employee Retiree Emeritus Luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 25. The event, which highlights retired Career Service staff, is one of the college’s efforts to recognize the valued contributions of employees through the years and was organized by members of the Career Service Employee Council.
The seven honorees were nominated by current SPC Career Service employees. Honorees had to have worked for the college for a minimum of 10 years and made significant contributions to the college during the time of their employment. Together, they worked at SPC for more than 165 years.
This year’s honorees include:
- Sherry Armstrong
- Shirley Bell
- Harry Berger
- Morrie Johnson
- JR Lenges
- Jim Moorhead
- Joseph Smith
JR Lenges, who helped get the event off the ground when it began three years ago, said he was excited and touched to have been nominated.
“It’s a great feeling. Words can’t describe it,” said Lenges, who retired in June 2014 after 40 years of service at SPC. “It was really extra special to know that the ceremony carried on after I retired and hopefully it will for years to come.”
Known for often speaking out on behalf of students in need, Lenges used his moment in the spotlight to speak in order to encourage other employees and retirees to give back to the college through scholarships for its students. With his sister, Jeanne Coffin, Lenges presented Frances Neu, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the SPC Foundation, with a check to create the new John and Mayzetta Lenges Memorial Scholarship.
Lenges and his two sisters, Coffin and Pam Overton, donated the money in order to create a new annual scholarship. The fund will alternate each year to provide support to students in the fire science and nursing programs. The scholarship honors his father, who served as a fireman, and his mother, who worked as a nurse.
Another annual recognition ceremony by the college for retired employees includes the annual Professors Emeriti, which honors exceptional faculty members who are nominated by current faculty and staff.