Virginia Tech is recognizing more than 841 employees for their commitment to service and for exemplifying the university motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). Collectively, these employees have dedicated 15,530 years of service to the university.

Recognition events took place March 29-April 14.

“Recognizing more than 15,000 years of service is remarkable, and so are the individuals we celebrate for reaching these notable milestones,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “The dedication and commitment of our employees is the foundation of Virginia Tech’s success.”

“We owe so much to the loyalty and dedication of our employees,” said Vice President for Human Resources Bryan Garey. “Virginia Tech benefits from their knowledge and the long tenure of service they provide. They are truly the backbone of Virginia Tech.”

The service recognition program acknowledges employees' service to the university in five-year increments, beginning at 10 years. Of the employees recognized this year, 92 have served Virginia Tech for 35 years or more, representing more than 3,535 years of combined service.

Employees with 25 or more years of service received an etched Hokie Stone, a symbol of strength and stability. The stone reflects the foundational commitment of each employee. Starting at 40 years of service, employees receive a Hokie Stone personalized with their name and years of service.

Three employees were recognized for 50 years of service: Betty Higginbotham from the College of Science; Steven Lowe, who recently retired from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; and Joseph Pitt, professor emeritus of philosophy. Together, they mark 150 years of service, a fitting total during the university’s 150th anniversary.

Betty Higginbotham began her career at Virginia Tech working for the Center for Environmental Studies in the biology department. In the late 1980s, she moved to the Department of Statistics, where she still works as a senior program support technician.

Higginbotham has seen big changes at Virginia Tech. Her job included using a manual typewriter and carbon paper to make copies, taking shorthand, and using a Dictaphone. She has made many good friends on campus. “I treat everybody with respect, and it pays off,” she said.

Steven Lowe joined Virginia Tech in 1972 as a laboratory technician in the Department of Anaerobic Microbiology, which has since merged into the biochemistry department. He later became a laboratory mechanic.

“It’s really fun working with graduate students,” he said. “You learn about what they are doing. You learn so many processes.” Since his retirement, he misses the people the most. “I can always find a machine to work on at home.” He also values the faculty members he worked with. “They are world-class, brilliant people,” he said. “You learn so much.”

Joseph Pitt came to Virginia Tech in 1971 as an instructor, reaching the rank of professor in 1983. The physical campus has changed a great deal since his arrival.

“The amount of building going on right now is mind-blowing,” he said. One thing that has remained steady, however, is his affection for his students. “They see Virginia Tech as a big family, and that is why talking about Virginia Tech as home makes so much sense,” he said.

All employees received a service lapel pin and certificate. A redesigned website shows employees recognized this year.

The Service Recognition Program's time period is April 1 of the previous year through March 31 of the current year.

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