Campus Life

UWF hosts annual holiday gala

Nearly 600 employees attended the University of West Florida Annual Holiday Gala on Dec. 7 in the UWF Field House to celebrate the successes throughout 2010.

“You all work very hard all year long, and I want to take this opportunity to thank you,” said President Judith A. Bense. “I appreciate your efforts, and I want to let you know that because of your expertise and dedication, this university is achieving great success.”

The holiday gala jumpstarts the holiday season for faculty and staff and provides an opportunity to take a break during the day, network and socialize with other employees and reflect on the year’s accomplishments.

Employees enjoyed a complimentary buffet lunch and a door prize drawing featuring prizes worth hundreds of dollars, including cash awards donated by members of the UWF President’s Cabinet.

“I can’t say I’ve ever worked at a place that provides this type of event as a thank you,” said Kevin Bailey, vice president of student affairs and one of the cabinet members who donated a cash door prize. “Everything is very festive, and I believe it gives us all a warm and welcome feeling.”

Other door prizes included gift cards to Publix Supermarkets and Walmart, tickets to the Center for Fine and Performing Arts’ performance of A Christmas Carol, free on-campus parking passes, American Express gift cards and a stay at a nearby hotel and casino.

“It was good that so many people donated a door prize,” said Irene Patti, who helped President Bense distribute the door prizes. “The best part was being able to see the happy faces of the employees who won.”

The event was coordinated and executed by the Staff Senate.

“I thought it was well-attended and very inspirational,” said Jim Hammond, a member of the Staff Senate. “I’m just happy to see other people happy. I hope this helped put everyone in the holiday spirit.”

Bense concluded the event by directly tying the success of the University to those in attendance.

“We’re working together at UWF, and that’s how we’re able to grow, be competitive and improve our region,” Bense said.