Each year, Widener recognizes two longstanding employees for their hard work and commitment to the university with the William David Eckard Jr. Award for Distinguished Service. This year, President Julie E. Wollman presented the awards to Molly Acri, assistant dean of administration and registrar at Widener Law Commonwealth, and Margaret Davis, senior payroll specialist.
The Eckard Award was established by William David Eckard III, longtime vice president of administration and finance at Widener University and a 1966 graduate of Pennsylvania Military College. He and his family created the award, with a $3,000 cash grant, in memory of his father to help promote and reward excellence at Widener. Recipients must work for Widener on a full-time basis for at least 10 years and consistently demonstrate an outstanding level of service.
Acri, a Palmyra, Pennsylvania resident, is known amongst her Widener peers as an exceptional and competent leader with an eagerness to help every student, staff and administrator she encounters. In her 11 years at Widener, Acri has met each day with a positive attitude, warm demeanor and encouragement of others, creating a long-lasting impact on all around her.
“I am so honored to be the Eckard Award recipient,” said Acri. “I enjoy working with a great team of people at Widener Law Commonwealth, so receiving recognition for that work was a nice surprise.”
No matter the demands or challenges of the role, Acri consistently works to resolve each project and issue in a timely and effective manner. Over the years, Acri’s responsibilities have changed to meet the evolving infrastructure of the university.
“In addition to the traditional responsibilities of a registrar and dean of administration, Molly has absorbed a number of new responsibilities and executed them conscientiously and meticulously,” said Christian Johnson, dean of Widener Law Commonwealth.
Her eagerness to accept new responsibilities outside of her purview did not go unnoticed as she is recognized as a key figure in Commonwealth Law’s daily operations.
Molly is the consummate professional and the quintessential exemplar of everything that the William David Eckard, Jr. Award wants to honor and celebrate at Widener University.
In her role as senior payroll specialist, Davis is an essential team player known for her problem solving skills and “can do” attitude.
“Snow, vacation, emergency situations…all must be factored into achieving her job duties,” said Robin Dyroff, director of Payroll. “There is no ‘can’t’ with her position nor is it a word that Margaret herself would even consider using.”
A resident of Wallingford, Pennsylvania, Davis is responsible for ensuring a timely and accurate payroll for the approximate 3,000 employees at Widener. Her technical skills and knowledge of appropriate taxation laws allows her to not only effectively manage the different needs of employees, but anticipate and develop solutions to future issues.
I consider myself, and Widener University, to be very lucky to have her as part of our team. —Robin Dyroff
Davis joined the Widener community 12 years ago. During that time, her two sons both attended and earned degrees from Widener.
“I was very surprised and honored to win the Eckard Award,” Davis said. “There were so many wonderful employees that were nominated. I feel very blessed and I am very happy to know that the employees at Widener appreciate the work that we do in Payroll.”