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Annual Books and Bears Drive Scheduled

Event gives campus community a way to thank service workers

This years Books and Bears distribution will take place on December 19.
This years Books and Bears distribution will take place on December 19. Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Many of them work the graveyard shift. From dusk to dawn, they clean, straighten, repair and prepare the University of Mississippi for next day.

“The work of our custodians, groundskeepers and other Physical Plant staff members is key not only to making this huge university enterprise work smoothly, but also to making the entire campus environment as pleasant as possible for more than 17,000 students, faculty and staff,” said Lisa Rogers, spokesperson for the Black Faculty and Staff Organization and training coordinator in the National Food Services Management Institute.

To show appreciation for the Physical Plant staff’s dedication, the BFSO collects new teddy bears, children’s books and toys each year to present to children of custodial and grounds workers. Donated items for the 2013 Books and Bears drive will be distributed after a reception for Physical Plant employees and friends at 10 a.m. Dec. 19 in the Ole Miss Union Ballroom.

“The response to the university for donated gifts is always overwhelming as there are always plenty of gifts to go around,” Rogers said. “This is an appreciation opportunity for those university employees whose work so often goes unrecognized, but whose tireless efforts greatly benefit our comfort and aesthetics.”

Donations to the 16th annual Books and Bears drive can be dropped off at several campus locations: third floor of the Khayat Law Center; Graduate School; second floor of Vardaman Hall; the Office of the Provost in the Lyceum; Hume Hall, Room 305; the UM Box Office in the Student Union; Howry Hall, Room 308; the Yerby Center; and Farley Hall.

“Our service workers provide the fuel which powers the UM engine,” said Donald Cole, associate provost and assistant to the chancellor for multicultural affairs. “Because of their dedicated service to the university, we are able to maintain our margin of efficiency. As members of the UM family, they reflect the core values of diligent work, optimism and family dedication inherent in our institution.”

For more information, contact Lisa Rogers at 662-915-1262 or jcertion@olemiss.edu, or Don Cole at 662-915-1712 or dcole@olemiss.edu.

—  Edwin Smith, Ole Miss News

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