For Bill Ahearn, an outside transportation contractor for Yale, last Friday’s party for Tercentennial workers proved something to him that most of Yale already knew.
“They throw a terrific party,” Ahearn said. “I’ve already had 40 shrimp.”
Ahearn was one of many behind-the-scenes Tercentennial workers who were thanked for their services at a large party thrown by Yale administrators Friday afternoon in Commons.
Upon entrance to the packed party, guests could choose a gift of a compact disc of Yale music, a stuffed Handsome Dan bulldog, or a Tercentennial watch. Tercentennial Director Janet Lindner and Yale Secretary Linda Lorimer greeted guests as they entered.
A huge Yale banner hung at the back of Commons, and the party foods were a little different from the regular fare at Commons — tables with cheese, fruit, sushi and desserts filled the room.
Displays about different facets of the University — the Yale University Art Gallery, famous Yale writers and U.S. presidents with Yale connections — filled the room along with the sounds of a live band.
Lindner, who is now working for Vice President of Finance Robert Culver, said the challenge of planning the Tercentennial was coordinating the many departments involved in effort.
“This event is a thank-you for the hundreds of people in every department who worked on the Tercentennial,” Lindner said. “The Tercentennial encompassed so many things.”
Yale President Richard Levin presented Lindner a gift for her services and, in his speech to the crowd, made a statement that caused the partygoers to erupt in applause.
“I promise you this is the last Tercentennial event,” Levin said.
Levin gave special thanks to the dining hall workers who had to work at their own party, but some employees were bitter.
Tyisha Walker, one those Commons staffers, said that although her employers sent out thank-you e-mails to workers during the Tercentennial, a thank-you event to recognize employees was due.
“It makes us feel appreciated,” Walker said.
Walker said that although she feels unappreciated by the administration and students at times, she hopes this winter’s labor negotiations will not lead to work stoppages.
“I don’t want to strike. I need all my money,” Walker said. “But I wouldn’t cross the picket line.”
Gregory Williams, a second cook for Yale Dining Services, said that even at an administrator-thrown fete, food service provider Aramark was scrimping on costs. He also complained about the quality of the food he has to work with every day.
“With what these kids pay to go to school here, they should be getting better,” Williams said. “Even the ham and turkey [Aramark is] serving here is lower quality than what I have had in year’s past.”
Lorraine Roseman, director of operations for the Yale Physicians’ Building, who helped to coordinate a medical booth for children at the tercentennial celebration, said she enjoyed the event.
“It was a special way for President Levin and staff to say they appreciate all the hard work,” Roseman said.
At the end of the party, Lorimer drew raffle tickets for prizes ranging from dining services party packs to two airline tickets for anywhere in the continental United States.