The Richard Kneedler Distinguished Service Award, named for former President Richard Kneedler, was created to recognize one member of the professional staff each year who consistently goes “above and beyond” what would normally be expected; who has earned the respect of students and colleagues; and who has clearly demonstrated his or her commitment to the mission of the College. Nominations for this prestigious award were accepted from members of the campus community and reviewed by a committee of professional staff. From among many fine nominees, the committee recommended Dan Lewis, Director of Housekeeping & College House Facilities, as this year’s award recipient.
Mr. Lewis joined the College in 1984 as Superintendent of Housekeeping, overseeing F&M’s in-house and contracted custodial staff. Several years later he became Building Trades Manager, a position in which he supervised F&M’s locksmiths, carpenters and painters. In recent years, he has played a key role as a liaison between F&M’s College House System and Facilities & Operations, providing immeasurable help to dons, prefects and students in planning large tasks and responding to questions.
Through the years, Mr. Lewis has worked on many projects to enhance the College’s physical spaces through painting, carpeting, masonry and other means. He also worked closely with the key shop in Facilities & Operations and F&M administrators to select and roll out the College’s “fob” access system. Mr. Lewis administers F&M’s photocopier agreement, works with vendors for laundry equipment and snacks and beverages, and leads innumerable projects throughout campus. Through it all, he never misses a chance to tell people about his love for the College.
Mr. Lewis’ contributions to life at F&M extend well beyond his work in Facilities & Operations. He advises F&M’s Bessie Smith Society, a student group devoted to jazz, blues and folk music, and WFNM radio, where he hosts a program that airs from 5 to 7 a.m. each Monday during the academic year. He has been a regular performer in “Fum Follies,” an annual musical comedy presented by members of the faculty and professional staff. He also served on F&M’s Fringe Benefits Committee in the 1990s.
Like so many F&M employees, Mr. Lewis is enthusiastic about working with our students. As one colleague noted, “By his own personal example, Dan models for our students the ‘qualities of intellect, creativity and character’ we would hope they bring to their future endeavors: professionalism, patience, generosity and passion.”
Dan Lewis, your upbeat, gregarious approach to your job and many contributions to life at Franklin & Marshall enrich the fabric of our community. You are a living testament to the College’s wish for its alumni: “…that they may live fulfilling lives and contribute meaningfully to their occupations, their communities and their world.”