The University Record, October 8, 1997

1,000 gather for 'Tailgate for Champions' celebration

Some of the Crisler Arena crowd that gathered last week for the UMatter celebration, 'Tailgate for Champions.' Photo by Bob Kalmbach


By Kerry Colligan

We've all been in this situation. You're attending a lecture, a conference or some other presentation, and the speaker begins with enthusiasm, "Aloha" (okay, maybe not aloha), then pauses.

And waits.

You're thinking, "Should I respond? Will others think I'm too engaged in this activity?"

Maybe, said Wally Amos, founder of Famous Amos Cookies and keynote speaker at the second annual UMatter Staff Recognition Program held Oct. 1, but "you have to do your best the first time."

"I can understand how you as staff can feel ignored and under-appreciated. Often there is an appearance that everything is on automatic," Amos said, "but you can't wait for someone else to appreciate you. You have to appreciate yourself. If you don't know how good you are, no one else will either."

Amos kept attendees laughing through anecdotes of achievement and self appreciation. "I worked in New York City for the William Morris Agency as a liaison for Motown Records. I lived at 195th street, and worked at 154th. But I hated my work. I would walk to work because I didn't want to get there. I tell you this to really say, if you're not happy here÷Mr. President you may have a mass exodus tomorrow÷go. Life is too short to be anywhere you don't want to be."

Amos joined President Lee C. Bollinger, former football coach and Athletic Director Bo Schembechler, and Jackie R. McClain, executive director of human resources and affirmative action, in expressing appreciation to all staff.

"The real purpose of this day is to recognize and honor each and every employee of the University. You type, clean, fix, manufacture and support in any way to help the University do the work it does. And for that we say thank you," McClain said. "The diversity, creativity, excellence and commitment of the staff are what gets the business of the University done."