Imperial staff came together to mark milestone anniversaries at the College's annual Long Server celebrations.
Staff who had reached 20, 25 and 30 years of service in 2014 gathered at a drinks reception on Tuesday 14 April, while on Monday 20 April those marking 35 and 40 years with Imperial attended a formal dinner.
You have played an important role in shaping the College we know today. Imperial’s continuing excellence is because of people like you
– Professor Alice P Gast
Congratulating staff, Imperial’s President Professor Alice Gast, said: “I am sure that like me, many of you react to these time periods with a sense of amazement at how time has flown past! We know that this sense of the passage of time happens to people who are good at what they do, who are dedicated to their work, who enjoy their jobs. I can tell from many of your recollections and achievements that this is certainly the case.
“You have given a very significant amount of your working life to Imperial and it’s important that you know how much we, your colleagues and friends, appreciate your commitment. You have played an important role in shaping the College we know today. Imperial’s continuing excellence is because of people like you.”
At the events, staff reminisced about their favourite memories of Imperial and the changes they had witnessed since they first arrived at the College.
Christine Gale, from Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), celebrated 40 years of service. She said:“The thing that I have always enjoyed most about working for Imperial is that everyone tries to help each other and they always have time for you. When I started my Imperial career – in the Computer Centre as the the Department was then known – I was pleasantly surprised to find how friendly everyone was and that everyone was on first named terms. I had worked for a large bank before then, so that level of familiarity was strange to me then! Many of my colleagues have now gone on to become my close friends.”
Julia Anderson, Departmental Manager for Surgery and Cancer, celebrated 25 years at the College. She said: “I was working at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School when it merged with several others in London to form Imperial’s School of Medicine in 1997. There was no Faculty structure at that time – so Heads of Departments reported directly to the Rector – that was strange for those of us coming from an independent Medical School. Our first Planning Round meeting was quite terrifying. There were just three of us – all new to the College and its processes – sitting in front of 20 people from Imperial who could all fire questions at us. I remember that afterwards our then Head of Department, Professor Hughes, took us out to lunch to celebrate the fact that we’d survived – we were so relieved!”
Dr Daryl Williams, from the Department of Chemical Engineering, was also marking a quarter of a century at Imperial: “Certainly a highlight of my time at Imperial would be when we opened the College’s Carbon Capture Pilot Plant in 2012. I was Director of the Pilot Plant project, and the unveiling of the facility was the culmination of four years of hard work by a large departmental and College team. It is one is the most sophisticated carbon capture pilot plants in the world, and was a very high profile development for the Department and for the College as a whole. Over 250 people attended the opening, and since then we’ve had more than 5,000 people visit the Pilot Plant, including visiting dignitaries and VIP guests such as CEO's and governmental ministers.”
Dr Matt Lee, from the Department of Medicine, was recognised for 20 years of service. He said: A highlight of my time here has got to be the fantastic people – students and staff alike. I’m fortunate to have a great team within the Department of Medicine, and I actually ended up attending the weddings of some of the students I was personal tutor to.
For the last two years I have been involved in the recruitment of Management Trainees for the Department, and we have organised 'Apprentice’ style days of interviews, presentations and group work. The standard and quality has been so high we recruited seven people to date and it’s fantastic to see how they’ve progressed.”
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