Geoffrey Seber Named Pillar of Rensselaer
Geoffrey Seber, associate advancement officer in the Division of Institute Advancement, has been named the 2013 Pillar of Rensselaer, the highest honor Rensselaer gives to a staff member. A Rensselaer employee for more than 14 years, Seber received the award at the 41st annual Service Recognition & Retirement Dinner held Aug. 23 at the Hilton Garden Inn. (See, related story.)
The Pillar Award is presented annually to a staff member who understands the Institute’s mission and history, has been a role model for other employees, has shown concern for students and their welfare, has added to the human dimension of the school, and who has played an active role in his or her home community.
Several days after the event, Seber said that he feels honored to be recognized for the award.
“There are many individuals on this campus who go above and beyond every day, and are also deserving of this special honor,” said Seber. “We all work to ensure our amazing students have an outstanding experience that keeps them connected to their great alma mater for a lifetime. Under President Jackson’s leadership, Rensselaer has truly become a world-class technological university, and that leadership allows us as a staff to be creative, achieve more, and have great impact on the Rensselaer community.”
“I specifically want to thank my manager, Dr. Jeffrey Schanz, who allows me, and all of the staff in Alumni Relations and throughout the Institute Advancement division, to stay involved throughout the Rensselaer campus,” Seber added. “Without his support, I would not have the opportunity to work with so many campus programs and departments.”
Seber was cited for his demonstrated understanding of Rensselaer mission and history, and was praised as a role model and mentor for other employees and students, and for his active role in the community, according to Secretary of the Institute and General Counsel Charles Carletta. He also shared at the dinner some quotes from several of the nominations received for Seber.
One nominator said that, “at the foundation, the mission of Rensselaer is to educate our communities and expand the progress of the world. This person lives this mission each day as they strive for excellence to share knowledge, and grow people, while demonstrating an understanding of the importance of our past, present, and future success.”
“When it comes to understanding Rensselaer’s mission, you only need to look at the programs [Seber] has created, which showcase the history, traditions, and spirit of Rensselaer in a way few other programs do, to see just how completely they understand and embrace this aspect.”
“This person has an enthusiastic, positive attitude. They join in projects easily and willingly and works thoroughly and professionally until the job is complete.”
And of course, several students also shared their thoughts about Seber. One student said, “I have a much more profound connection to Rensselaer” as a result of his support for student success.
“Within our fraternity, this person has taken drastic steps to increase the quality of living for our brothers,” said another student. “While most would just stand by and accept the status quo, this person is someone who leads change and inspires others to do what is right. I often find myself wondering how I can contribute in such a positive manner similar to this person. I aspire to be a role model and give back to the community at the same level.”
Saving the best for last, one student said, “If I had not had the mentorship of this person, my college experience would not have been as successful as it has been.”
The Pillar of Rensselaer Award was established in 1993, through the support of Carl Westerdahl, former dean of students and director of alumni relations. The annual award consists of a gift of $500 and a sterling silver pin by Tiffany & Co. The winner’s name also is inscribed on the base of a Tiffany crystal award that is permanently displayed in the President’s Suite in the Troy Building.