After working as ASUCD business manager for 32 years, Mark Champagne has donated $25,000 to ASUCD to form the Mark and Linda Champagne ASUCD Customer Service/Exceptional Hourly Employee Award.
The award would be given to ASUCD hourly employees who show exemplary service to ASUCD. In a recent ASUCD senate meeting, the senate voted to match Champagne’s donation. The funds used to match Champagne’s donation will come from the ASUCD Awards Endowment Fund, which was created to ensure that ASUCD could continue to give out awards and scholarships in the future, despite economic hardships.
“The criteria and eligibility rules are strictly based on how you are as an employee of the association,” said Andre Lee, ASUCD senator and co-author of the bill. “It really is to recognize what makes the association work, and that’s the hundreds of students who are employed by the association.”
Along with the award, the Mark and Linda Champagne ASUCD Customer Service/Exceptional Hourly Employee Award Committee was created, which will choose the award winners each year. The committee will consist of the ASUCD business manager, the Coffee House director, the general manager of Unitrans, one student unit director, the ASUCD president and two ASUCD senators.
To be eligible for the award, applicants must be students and ASUCD hourly employees who show great dedication to their work. Approximately $2,000 will be given out to students each year, Champagne said.
“It’s really for the students who are, as I say, ‘in the trenches,’ that are working with the university community on a daily basis,” Champagne said.
The committee will decide whether the totality of the award will be given to one student, or if the award will be split among multiple students. The award will be distributed each spring quarter beginning Spring 2012.
Champagne said that this award is a way to acknowledge ASUCD for all of the hard work the association has done during his time at UC Davis.
“It’s my way of saying thank you to the Associated Students and UC Davis for allowing me to work as business manager for the past 32 years. My gift back to them is this award, that can be given out in perpetuity,” Champagne said.
Bree Rombi, ASUCD vice president and co-author of the bill, highlighted the generosity of the gift.
“I think it’s amazing. Mark likes to say that it’s not that big of a deal, but I think it’s going to make a big difference,” Rombi said.
Lee echoed Rombi’s sentiments and said that he was very grateful for Champagne’s donation.
“When Mark first told me about it, my jaw dropped,” he said. “It’s a giant gift to ASUCD on top of everything that Mark has done over the past 32 years. The only thing that I think all of us are sad about is that it’s also a sign that he’s going to retire.”
HANNAH STRUMWASSER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.