Donna Gibbs - Student Affairs Service Award 2005-06

Statement of Wonderfulness

In Celebration of

Donna Gibbs

Officially:  Student Orientation and Retention Office Manager 

Unofficially: Superwoman, Goddess, Queen of SOAR


Donna has worked at OSU for over 25 years, and is the heart of the SOAR office. Her most significant contribution is running the day to day operations of all of the on campus visit programs for prospective students and their families as well as the START program for all incoming students.  She not only does all of the registration for the programs (upwards of 500 students and families per program), she follows up with each and every student and parent that is interested in attending programs.

She serves new students and their families with professionalism and care. She knows how to make people feel at ease by listening to and answering their questions and calming their concerns; she is always willing to take the time to help them and make them feel welcomed and comfortable. She is well organized and works extremely hard. As long as I can remember, Donna has been the first to arrive at work each day-- at 7am. 

Donna is the direct assistant to Kris, Marcus, and Rick; she keeps the office running-- without her I am not sure if SOAR would survive. Her duties include: overall management of the office, data entry, public relations, publications, mailing, phones, and hiring and management of a team of undergraduate office assistants. She alone completes registration for all student/family member programs and data entry for all Spring Visits, CONNECT, Beaver Open House, Fall Preview, Kaleidoscope, Odyssey, and START programs.

She is the first face that people see when they come to OSU. Being in the SOAR office, she often directs people to other parts of campus or the Administration building... and does everything with a smile.

Donna has served on numerous search committees, and student employee selection teams. She has provided administrative support to many initiatives within Enrollment Management, is a member of the CONNECT Request for Proposals committee, and has been involved with the Enrollment Management Picnic planning committee as well as the SOAR/Enrollment Management/Academic Programs Food Drive Committee.

There have been a lot of changes in the SOAR office over the last few years.  Donna has remained a constant in the SOAR office and allowed for the transition to go smoothly. She is the foundation of the SOAR office. Her dedication to OSU and to the SOAR office is an inspiration to all of us. With all of the programs that we are responsible for, it is amazing that she is the only administrative support person—we could not do what we do without her support and involvement.

Not only does she do an exceptional job at work, but she is also a wonderful person. She is kind, genuine, understanding, has a great sense of judgment, makes you laugh when you are feeling down, gives useful advice, and is extremely reliable.  Any challenges I have faced in college have been much easier because of Donna; she is my mom away from home.

When asked to give one word to describe her, people used words like: selfless, incredible, sincere, dedicated, steadfast, caring, genuine, and ‘mom’. It has been said that she makes people feel like they are back at home, and that she is unfailing professional in her demeanor-- she's just the best.

Donna does an excellent job of creating an open and caring atmosphere within the office.  The atmosphere around her allows others to feel safe in their environment. She helps people feel welcome while going through the process of becoming a member of the OSU community (very important in meeting the goals of SOAR) while explaining the processes that occur during the transition. Donna is supportive of everyone. She frequently finds opportunities to build community and celebrate success. Donna makes me smile every time I talk to her. She genuinely cares about everyone she works with, and makes it a point to make sure that we function as a unit. She also has a strong sense of justice and is not afraid the voice her opinion where the office or students are concerned. Donna is a great employee and when (and if!!) she retires she will leave a great hole in Enrollment Management.

Donna is well overdue for recognition for the outstanding work that she does at OSU. She is amazingly dedicated to the SOAR office and the Oregon State Campus. Her positive attitude and joyful personality makes you want to be around her and work with her. From the moment I started working with SOAR, Donna has treated me like she knew me for the last 10 years. She is hard working and dedicated to the success of Oregon State University and all of its students. Her vast knowledge of the university is used on a daily basis for the betterment of all that know her. She is indefatigable in her efforts to serve the public, the students and the directors.  Her steadfastness and reliability are key; Donna carries the lion’s share of office responsibilities.  I cannot think of a more deserving person for this award.


11th Annual Service Awards Celebration
Division of Student Affairs
Oregon State University
May 22, 2006