Marty McGrath is the 2009 recipient of the Richard Kneedler Distinguished Service Award.
The distinguished service award is given each year to a member of the professional staff in recognition of his or her outstanding contributions and demonstrated commitment to the mission of the College.
McGrath is the assistant director of facilities and operations services and events management in the Facilities & Operations Department.
“I have had the privilege and pleasure of working with Marty for seven years,” said John Fry, president of Franklin & Marshall College, “and I can think of no one who deserves this recognition more than he. Marty is a true citizen of this great College.”
Established in 2005 by President Fry, the award recognizes professional staff who consistently go above and beyond what would normally be considered good performance, who have earned the respect of students and colleagues, and who have clearly demonstrated their commitment to the College.
“I was overwhelmed and honored. I thought I would have a heart attack when President Fry told me I had received the distinguished service award, and every time I talk with someone about it, my heart races with pride,” McGrath said.
Nominations were submitted by members of the campus community and were then reviewed by a committee of professional staff. McGrath received nominations from six of his colleagues. The committee unanimously recommended McGrath for the award.
A colleague said McGrath “epitomizes the high standards of Franklin & Marshall and is a good citizen of the campus and Lancaster communities.” Another described McGrath as the “go-to” person with a “can-do” attitude. A third summed it up best by writing, “Marty loves Franklin & Marshall College and it shows in everything he does.”
“Marty provides unquestionable service, with a generous and kind attitude to all he comes into contact with,” said Debbie Martin ’72, director of special events and assistant secretary of the College. “Marty is organized, knowledgeable and always willing to go that extra mile.”
McGrath makes work a pleasure, said Cathy Roman ’77, director of alumni relations.
“Consistent and unwavering describe Marty McGrath. He delivers what he has promised and does it with a smile on his face. Nothing is ever too much trouble for him. In planning reunion and homecoming, he is ready to offer his expertise on whatever challenges are ahead of us,” Roman said.
McGrath began his career with the College as services coordinator for the Steinman College Center in 1983. He soon moved to Facilities & Operations and has remained a valuable member of that department for more than 23 years.
McGrath was promoted to his current position in 2008. He helps to plan and to coordinate major College events, including Convocation and Commencement. He works with student groups to help plan community service events, such as the Relay for Life, and all-campus events such as the Spring Arts celebration.
“I arrived in the United States from Belfast in 1982 and almost all of my working career has been spent at F&M,” McGrath said. “This College has given me more than just a job. It has been my family, my support and my passion for these years.”