BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— As she marks 40 years at Illinois Wesleyan, Associate Dean of Students Darcy Greder was named the 2017 recipient of the Max L. Starkey Award, honoring a staff member whose loyalty, enthusiasm and outstanding contributions have provided an invaluable service to the IWU community.
President Eric Jensen announced the award winner Aug. 25 at the University's annual Faculty-Staff Breakfast.
In nominations for the honor submitted by faculty and staff, Greder was described as "the ultimate IWU – selfless and humble, hard-working and student-centered," and "someone who represents Illinois Wesleyan University with all the grace, dignity and respect this institution aspires to promote in our students."
"Darcy is a key player to student success," a nominator wrote. When students find themselves in complicated situations during their college journey, "Darcy is often the anchor that the students cling to when the waters get rough."
Staff members noted Greder's work on initiatives such as the first-year parent podcast, volunteer service days for incoming and graduating students, and traditional PB&J nights during final exams. She was commended for her outreach to female students on behalf of the Council for IWU Women, and for her stalwart support of "all things pertaining to diversity at IWU," including the Minority Alumni Network and the campus LGBTQ+ community, serving as "a visible but reasonable voice for all."
Colleagues praised Greder's dedication to students and to upholding the University's mission and values.
"She does this by always helping where help is needed, extending herself if it means that any student will receive an additional opportunity, and never complaining that the hours are too long or that her pay is not enough," they wrote. "Darcy epitomizes the ideals of a servant leader and is the type of individual that should represent the legacy of Max L. Starkey.
"Not only has she 'done good' in helping to move the mission of IWU forward through her role in impacting campus life outside of the classroom, she does it with enthusiasm, energy, and love."
Greder said, "I am deeply honored, and bit overwhelmed. Working with our students and colleagues is the joy of my life."
Established in 2001, the award is named in honor of the late Max Starkey, a 1957 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan, who was the University’s controller for more than 39 years until his retirement in 1996. The award is made possible through a gift of the Starkey family.
Members of the Starkey family and a committee of former Illinois Wesleyan staff and faculty select the Starkey Award winner from nominations submitted by faculty and staff. This year’s committee included Emmalyn Dickinson, former office coordinator II, Alumni Relations; Norma Criley, professor emerita of biology; Lynn Nichelson, former assistant dean of enrollment management; Donna Hartweg, Caroline F. Rupert Chair of Nursing, professor emerita; Art Killian, former groundsman, Physical Plant; and Roger Schnaitter, former associate provost for academic planning and standards, professor emeritus. Two of Starkey’s children, Dana Starkey ’94 and Tina Starkey Swingler ’97, were also involved in the committee’s determination of the winner.