Leslie Davis, executive director of Sacramento State’s University Union and The WELL, was honored with the prestigious Don and Noel Hinde Distinguished Service Award for her administrative skills by the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) during a regional conference hosted on campus Nov. 8-10.
“I was shocked,” Davis says, “because Sac State has never won this award.”
Bill Olmstead (left) and Leslie Davis.
Each year, Region 15, which includes California, Nevada, Hawaii, Guam and Australia, recognizes a professional who “has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the student union/student activities profession on their campuses.”
Student Affairs Vice President Lori Varlotta calls Davis a “superstar who goes beyond the call of duty” in serving Sac State. “I’m always so pleased when the rest of the world gets to see what I already know,” Varlotta says. “That we have the best right here.”
The indefatigable Davis is no less proud of Bill Olmsted, director of the University Union’s facilities and administration, who received The Diane Morisato Staff Recognition Award. This honor recognizes “a staff member who has served as a model of volunteer involvement and service to the college unions/student activities field and ACUI regional activities.”
Olmsted is a Sac State alum who came back to campus 16 years ago as an adjunct professor of Graphic Design. As such, he provided crucial guidance to the students who designed the campus signage. Olmsted segued to the Union as a program advisor and later became an associate director. He teamed with Davis to help promote student approval of a user fee in 2004 for The WELL’s construction.
Davis says she came to Sacramento State in 1999 from the East Coast because of the “great opportunity” to direct the Union. A couple of years hence, she was busily involved in planning The WELL, which she also has overseen since its grand opening in September 2010.
These two dynamic administrators have run the Union and The WELL seamlessly, providing the personal touch that is a Sac State signature. Both facilities provide an array of services that enhance and enrich an increasingly vibrant campus. More than 20,000 students are active members of The WELL, which is open seven days a week. Daily use ranges from 1,700 to 2,500, while some 17,000 students flock to the Union each day.
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– Alan Miller