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October 12, 2012

Cooper receives UM Outstanding Staff Service Award

MONTEVALLO—Lois Reach Cooper, executive assistant to the president of the University of Montevallo, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Staff Service Award. A member of the UM family since 1983, Reach has served in the Admissions Office, the Division of University Advancement and the President’s Office. She was recognized at UM’s Founders’ Day convocation, held Oct. 11 in Palmer Hall.

As manager for the Admissions Office, Cooper was responsible for the overall operations and daily activities of the department.

After 12 years in Admissions, she became the Assistant to the Vice President of University Advancement. In that capacity, she not only managed the daily operations of that office, but also administered the activities of the UM Foundation Board. She performed a myriad of clerical and professional duties ranging from special event preparation to scholarship selection.

In the words of one nominator, “During a crucial transition period while the Foundation searched for a new director, Lois was the go-to person for many of the decisions and transactions needed to keep the Foundation on solid footing. Along with the Foundation Board chairman, Lois provided the consistency and knowledge that was necessary to move the activities of the board forward. Lois’ leadership during this time – and others – was imperative, and she rose to the occasion with confidence and professionalism. As do many boards, the University’s Foundation board has an interesting variety of strong personalities. Much to her credit, Lois always (was) on an even keel, working graciously to meet every request and requirement. She (was) a model for responding quickly and thoroughly to the many demands of her position.”

Cooper served on numerous committees including the Founders’ Day committee, the Scholarship and Awards committee, the ceremonial committee for the naming of the Michael E. Stephens College of Business, the core committee for the University’s Centennial Celebration and the core committee for the inauguration of the University’s 14th president.

Another nominator wrote, “Lois’ unwavering commitment and loyalty to UM is astounding. We have all heard the phrase within the working community, ‘Nobody is irreplaceable.’ However, Lois breaks that mold. For me, Lois’ demeanor, interpersonal skills and professionalism are unparalleled. She is viewed as a role model for her professional approach and optimistic demeanor.”

When asked to characterize Cooper’s loyalty to the University of Montevallo, this nominator used a single word: “Unquestionable.”

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