In recognition of his service to and impact on the College community, Luis Alvarez from Events Management has received the inaugural Greg Brown Award.
The award, named in honor of former Vice President for Finance and Administration Greg Brown, recognizes the extraordinary contributions that staff members in the areas of Campus Services (formerly Auxiliary Services), Facilities Management, and Public Safety make to the life of the College.
“Luis is involved in so many important events in campus life, and connects to so many of our students, faculty, and staff members at meaningful moments in their time at the College,” said Associate Vice President for Campus Services Anthony Coschignano.
“Whether he’s helping a student and their family during move-in or setting up for Commencement, Luis is there helping make sure things go smoothly. Even in stressful situations, when there are multiple events and campus is hectic and busy, Luis is always able to stay positive,” said Coschignano.
Alvarez received the honor — and an award made with cedar, maple, and walnut wood repurposed from across campus, for which Human Resources worked with staff from the MakerSpace — at the College’s all-staff meeting earlier this month.
“I was surprised that I won the award; it was unreal,” says Alvarez. “It's nice to feel appreciated, and I feel grateful for the nomination.”
The award recognizes the impact staff members have in making campus a welcoming, beautiful, safe, and productive environment for students, staff, and faculty, honoring the commitment and creativity they bring to their work each day. Recipients receive a $1,000 award and have their names engraved on a plaque to be placed in the Dining and Community Center.
In the words of his supervisor, Director of Events Management Susan Eagar, Alvarez is “a rock” in the office. She first met him in 2015, when he was a member of Environmental Services, when he would also pitch in to help the College’s moving team.
“Since I’ve known him, he’s had that same can-do attitude about things — Luis is the guy who is always there whenever anything is needed,” says Eagar. “He is someone who is always willing to go the extra mile, problem solve, and leave a situation better than he found it.”
Alvarez’s willingness to step up and get the job done was commonly mentioned throughout the nomination process, said Coschignano.
“When Luis sees that something is needed, even if it goes beyond what he’s technically required to do, he just jumps in and makes it happen,” he said. “As one nominator put it, ‘he wants Swarthmore to shine,’ and so he brings his A game.”
In particular, nominators noted how Alvarez makes sure that a room needed for an event is not only set up correctly but neat and clean, and referenced him jumping in to help plow after a snowstorm.
“He has even pitched in as a shuttle driver, helping bring guests from Singer Hall to [the Inn at Swarthmore] during some unexpected bad weather,” said Coschignano, adding that Alvarez has played a role in building the College’s new Garnet Day tradition.
“Whatever may be going on,” he says, “you know you can count on him.”
Alvarez is also known for making an effort to cheer on his friends and colleagues, and for taking the time to get to know every community member he encounters.
“Luis is someone who cares about each individual he meets, and who takes pride in making our whole community better,” said Coschignano.