Multicultural Springfest to celebrate diversity, longevity among Stanford's staff

At this year's Multicultural Springfest on Thursday, Provost John Etchemendy will honor employees who marked milestone anniversaries in 2013. 

L.A. Cicero springfest

Thousands of Stanford employees attend the annual Multicultural Springfest every year to celebrate the diversity and dedication of the university's staff. This year's event will be Thursday, May 22, at Frost Amphitheater.

When Larry Horton and Dieter Walz started working at Stanford, gasoline was about 30 cents a gallon. That year, AT&T introduced the touch-tone phone. Stanford's president was J.E. Wallace Sterling.

Horton, senior associate vice president for government & community relations, and Walz, a physicist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, marked their 50th anniversaries at Stanford in 2013 and will be among 112 employees whose service will be recognized during the Multicultural Springfest on Thursday, May 22.

Those who have attended Stanford's Multicultural Springfest in the past know that it celebrates the diversity of employees from across the university. But in addition to offering employees good food while showcasing their creative talents, this year's event will recognize many of those who have dedicated decades of service to the university.

During the event, Provost John Etchemendy will recognize employees who reached milestone anniversaries – 30th, 35th, 40th, 45th and 50th – in 2013.

"The university owes a huge debt of gratitude to staff members who make contributions to Stanford's excellence decade after decade," said David Jones, vice president for human resources. "Every school or unit honors staff for their years of service, but for the Stanford community to come together to celebrate the careers of our longest-serving staff is indicative of the level of appreciation and gratitude we have for them."

Sponsored by the Diversity and Access Office, Thursday's Springfest will take place at Frost Amphitheater from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Performers will include VivAsia!, an aerobic dance program offered by  the Health Improvement Program (HIP) that combines a variety of Asian dance styles with music and props across the Asian Diaspora, including Bollywood, K-pop, J-pop and fan dance. The Stanford Soul Line Dancers, a high-stepping, energetic group that has been line dancing on the Farm and beyond since 2002, also will perform. Andrea Hubbard, a grants administrator in the Chemical Engineering Department who performs blues, contemporary, jazz and R&B vocals, will sing.

Anita Black, meeting services coordinator in the office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs, and Victor Madrigal, senior manager for student and alumni outreach for the Stanford Alumni Association, will be the emcees.

"This event is an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of university staff and recognize the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace," said Rosa Gonzalez, director of the Diversity and Access Office.

At around 12:15 p.m., Provost Etchemendy will preside over the career honoree recognition.

In advance of this year's recognition event, University Human Resources has dedicated a website to the staffers, who share their favorite places on campus, their most memorable moments, points of pride and advice for new hires.  

Coral Hunt, a membership associate in the alumni office of the Graduate School of Business, is being recognized for 45 years of service at Stanford. She recalled her two most memorable moments. One was when she helped Phil Knight, co-founder and chairman of Nike Inc., to print a speech he was giving from a floppy disk.

"The other was the time I picked up the phone and the person at the other end said he was calling from Prince Charles' office in Buckingham Palace to thank the Peninsula Chapter of the GSB Alumni Association for their kind invitation for the Prince to speak at one of their events, however, the timing just wouldn't work so he had to decline."

Ellen Woods, 35-year employee, who now works in the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, had this advice:

"Stanford is much more than a place to work. Take advantage of the depth and breadth of enrichment the university offers – take a HIP class every quarter, attend concerts, speakers and other events (many are free!), visit the Cantor Art Museum, walk the Dish, enjoy the gardens and watch out for rogue bicyclists."