The Lightning Award
One of our Guiding Principles is to always strive to improve everything we do. Making our programs, culture, and knowledge-base better is a reward in itself, but we decided it would be nice to have something a little more tangible to recognize those sparks of genius that lead to change - big or small.
That's how The Lightning Award was born. You can read the full story in Scott Cochran's blog post, but in a nutshell, if any member of our staff, or anyone in general, comes up with an idea that improves The Space or its programs, they'll receive a Lightning Award. You can also receive a Lightning Award by doing something that we think is pretty cool - an innovation, design, action or behavior that embodies professional excellence.
So, what exactly do you get when you win a Lightning Award?
We're loving Modify watches right now. All of our team members wear them (even Teak!) and, like The Space, these watches embody innovation, creativity, and design thinking at its best. They're inexpensive, attractive, and come in two sizes and a mind-boggling array of colors and styles. Our Institute students get them each year as reminders that it's time for excellence.
If you're the winner of a Lightning Award, you'll receive a Modify watch of your very own. Wear it with pride.
We want to spread the word about this awesome little company making these innovative time pieces, and its creator, Aaron Schwartz. You can find out all about Modify and Aaron here.
Lightning Award Recipients
Lisa De Freitas and Ashley Rowe, November 2012
Unless you were living under a rock on November 15, you’re already familiar with the “Wofford 500,” the wildly successful fundraising challenge created by Lisa DeFreitas, Director of Annual Giving, and Ashley Rowe, Alumni and Annual Giving Communications Coordinator. The event – the first of its kind at Wofford – challenged the Wofford community to make 500 gifts in 24 hours to secure a generous $50,000 donation from Don Fowler '57.
For one day, alumni, students, parents, faculty and staff were glued to the web and social networking sites, following the progress of the campaign. Would we reach 500 donors in 24 hours? Would we get the challenge gift of $50,000? We shared Facebook posts and tweets, participated in one of six mini-contests, encouraged friends and family members to give, even came out in numbers to rallies in Columbia, Charlotte and Spartanburg. We pulled together and, once we completed not one but TWO challenges, shared in the excitement of achieving something amazing: by midnight, 771 donors had given over $82,000 to the college.
(To illustrate just how amazing, the University of South Carolina ran a similar campaign the week before. They raised less than $30,000 from 330 donors.)
This astounding success was possible because Ashley Rowe got an idea for a 24-hour challenge from a blog post. She brought that idea to her supervisor, Lisa, who encouraged Ashley to take a risk. Lisa pitched the idea to Don, who was looking for a way to impact the college with his donation, and she found a second donor when the first challenge was unexpectedly met well ahead of schedule (Tim Madden ’85, who heroically responded to a plea for an additional $5,000 in challenge funds to keep the contest going until midnight). Ashley spent hours developing and executing a massive web, email and social media marketing campaign to get out the word about the challenge, coordinating the assistance of several campus departments in the process.
Ashley and Lisa didn’t have to do any of it. They could have saved themselves weeks of work and headaches. And Wofford would have missed out on $145,000 (the total raised that day, including Don's and Tim's challenge funds) and an event that brought the college together for one crazy, awesome day.
But they DID IT.
We’re proud to call them colleagues and to present them with our small token of recognition for their professional excellence and willingness to go above and beyond.
Paul Thompson, September, 2012
When you think "cafeteria," excellent service is probably one of the last things that comes to mind. Not so at Wofford. When Courtney Shelton, our Success Initiative Director, journeyed to the Burwell Building in search of a veggie burger only to suffer the bitter disappointment of learning none were readily available, Paul Thompson stepped in to help. He took Courtney's order, oversaw its preparation, and brought it out to her table when it was ready. That's the kind of service you'd expect at a 5-star white-tablecloth establishment, not a busy college dining hall. For Paul's dedication to delighting the customer, we've given him a Lightning Award.
If you don't know Paul, he's been an Aramark employee at Wofford for seven years. This is his first Lightning Award, but we're told he's also been recognized several times by Aramark for a job well done. When's he's not going above and beyond his job description, he loves to work out in Wofford's gym. The husband and father of three boys and two girls is also a dedicated Terrier (he's even got a Terrier tattoo).
Dave Pittman, Ph.D., July, 2012
Dave is associate professor of psychology here at Wofford and the developer of an innovative and rapidly growing elementary school lunch program called Healthy Eating Decisions which aims to reduce childhood obesity in Spartanburg County. Recently, Dave attended a presentation by Scott Cochran on values and leadership. Dave used what he learned during Scott's presentation to refocus and rewrite the vision statement for his program. For hearing, learning, and taking action, we presented Dave with our very first Lightning Award.