Robert L. Chunko, who is retiring as supervisor of grounds; Rochelle Lam, who is retiring as manager of student accounts in business affairs; Lew Minter, who is retiring as director of the art department’s media lab; and Paul H. Zimmerman, who is retiring as associate vice president for business affairs and controller, were recognized at Lafayette’s annual pre-Commencement reception, dinner, and awards ceremony. Read their citations below.
ROBERT L. CHUNKO
Most tasks are relatively easy to accomplish when conditions are ideal and success comes without effort. What sets the true professional apart is the ability to excel even when the challenges are great.
Bob, on numerous occasions during your Lafayette career you were singled out for praise by those who were impressed by what you accomplished despite daunting odds. A baseball coach recorded his thanks—and the thanks of visiting coaches—for the skill with which you and your staff created “marvelous playing conditions” after heavy overnight rains. Once you were even credited with a “save” for drying out a muddy infield to prevent a game from being cancelled. You worked equally hard on behalf of other sports and were always on the job. In fact, during your three decades at Lafayette you missed only one home football game.
Your record of being present for snow events was even better: You never missed a single one. Your remarkable ability to clear sidewalks and road surfaces after major winter storms was noted by everyone from the president of the College to the president of Student Government. Your attentiveness to the grounds also added to the pride with which students, faculty, staff, trustees, and alumni spoke about the beauty of the campus.
First as a groundsman and then as supervisor of grounds, you fulfilled your many responsibilities with skill, energy, and dedication—and always with a smile. The Lafayette community records its deep appreciation for your service.
Although Markle Hall has been your home throughout your Lafayette career, your responsibilities now are a world apart from the duties you were assigned in 1984, when you were hired as secretary to the assistant provost and director of research.
In 1989 you left the academic side of the administration to become a loan specialist in the Controller’s Office, where you helped manage the complex system of institutional and government loans our students receive. While holding that position you graduated from DeSales University with both a B.A. degree in business communications cum laude and a certificate in human resource management. In 2006 you assumed your current title, manager of student accounts, a position in which you coordinate the billing and other tasks associated with all student-related revenue collected by the College, including loans, tuition, and fees.
While demonstrating the high level of proficiency in accounting practices required by your position, you have been equally impressive as the “first line of contact” when students and parents approach the College with concerns about their financial obligations. With patience, tact, and empathy—and always with the utmost professionalism—you have spent countless hours helping them resolve their problems. A proud Lafayette parent yourself, you relate comfortably to both students and parents and foster the mutual trust and respect that are essential when sensitive financial issues are discussed.
You have been an exemplary administrator and representative of the College, Rochelle, and we acknowledge your service and dedication with heartfelt appreciation.
“The opportunity to do research with such a brilliant mind like Lew Minter is such a privilege. I have been able to assist in digital reconstructions of works by historical artists like Antonio Vivarini, helped visiting artists in the designing and printing of their artwork, and [worked] on an installation for Easton Hospital.”
Although made in 2008, that comment by a double major in economics and art illustrates the impact you had on our undergraduates throughout your Lafayette career, first in a part-time capacity as adjunct instructor and then when you assumed the full-time position of director of the Art Department Media Lab, a role that also tapped your talents as a teacher.
Among the qualities that made you such an effective guide and mentor for our students was the breadth of your expertise and interests. In working with an EXCEL Scholar on the reconstruction of altarpiece panels from Renaissance Italy, you taught her invaluable lessons about art history as well as about art restoration (and the capacity of digital technology to enhance that process). You were equally well qualified to teach students about advertising and promotion design, visual communication through technology, the principles of studio art, and other topics you introduced into the curriculum. As an artist with a national and international reputation, you also exemplified the highest standards of professionalism for your students.
Throughout your time at Lafayette, Lew, you nurtured countless young artists and deepened their love of art. The College acknowledges your service with heartfelt thanks.
PAUL H. ZIMMERMAN
When you were the assistant controller at Rutgers, you also taught accounting as an adjunct professor. Ever since you arrived at Lafayette in 1986 you have remained a tireless and effective teacher, though now you instruct others not from the front of a classroom but as the leader of your team.
Whether you are working with those who report directly to you, with student interns, or with colleagues from other programs, you derive enjoyment and satisfaction from mentoring others. One of your proudest professional moments as associate vice president for business affairs and controller, in fact, was seeing a member of your staff appointed controller at Swarthmore. You are exceptionally supportive of the professional development of those you supervise, and you never fail to acknowledge the contributions of everyone who plays a role in your department’s success.
What your colleagues find most noteworthy about you, though, is that you care about so much more than just the end product. You value fairness and integrity in the workplace, you brighten every workday with your sense of humor, and, despite the incredibly stressful demands of your position, you have, in their words, “not lost one iota of your enthusiasm for Lafayette.”
Two years ago you received the Cyrus S. Fleck, Jr. ’52 Administrator of the Year Award in recognition of your extraordinary efforts to help Lafayette weather a global economic crisis. Tonight we applaud you again, Paul, as we recognize your equally impressive contributions as our colleague and friend.