Long-time employee recognized for transportation work
MURFREESBORO — The way MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee sees it, Ron Malone deals with “one of the most challenging activities on this campus: parking.”
Malone was recognized Wednesday for meeting that challenge for the last 13 years as assistant vice president for events and transportation, as well as the other challenges he’s resolved in his 25 years of work at Middle Tennessee State University.
McPhee made a surprise visit to Malone’s office inside the Parking Services Building Wednesday morning to present him with the President’s Silver Column Award, a special lapel pin that recognizes “individuals who go beyond the call of duty to make this campus a place that is conducive to learning and a caring place.”
Malone, who also managed Murphy Center and worked in admissions and advising before moving into his current role, becomes the seventh President’s Silver Column Award honoree. McPhee established the award in 2004.
McPhee applauded Malone and his staff “for the incredible job you do behind the scenes” in transportation services every day, making special note of this summer’s long-awaited opening of two new student parking garages that added almost 1,000 parking spaces.
McPhee called Malone an “ideal employee” who is hardworking and “works smart,” adding that he displays a consistent “calmness in the storms” of dealing with parking and transportation concerns.
“We have a great institution, but we would be an even greater university with the model you have shown as a person, as an employee and as a colleague,” added McPhee, who was joined at the presentation by MTSU Senior Vice President John Cothern, who oversees the university’s Division of Business and Finance.
The division’s administration offices, which Malone leads, include MTSU’s Office of Event Coordination, Production Services, Parking and Transportation Services, the Murphy Center Complex, the Tennessee Livestock Center and the Tennessee Miller Coliseum.
A “very humbled” Malone credited his staff for the recognition.
“We’ve got so many wonderful people that work here at this university, and my staff is without a doubt the best. And that’s what this stands for, it’s for the great staff in Events and Transportation,” he said. “They make me look good, and I’m very appreciative of the work that they do. This award is for all of us.”
Previous Silver Column Award recipients include:
• Dr. Cliff Ricketts, a 37-year MTSU School of Agribusiness and Agriscience professor and alternative fuels researcher.
• Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, an MTSU chemistry professor, 18-year faculty member, director of the WISTEM Center and champion of the cause of recruiting girls and young women into science, technology, engineering and math fields.
• Sherian Huddleston, associate vice provost for enrollment services, now retired.
• Larry Sizemore, supervisor of ground services.
• Suma Clark, retired director of publications and graphics (now Creative and Visual Services), who now serves as a part-time web management team-project coordinator.
• The late Dr. Charles Wolfe, a distinguished folklorist, accomplished author and music historian and English professor.