ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT SERVICES LORI RUSSEK NAMED “BRINGER OF LIGHT” BY TEXAS A&M-KINGSVILLE GROUP
KINGSVILLE - November 26, 2010
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Lori U. Russek, assistant director of advancement services in the Office of Alumni and Development at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, has been named a “Bringer of Light” by the campus group Servants of Las Luminarias.
An anonymous collection of campus community members, the Servants of Las Luminarias select those that they feel are “bringers of the light of the knowledge of goodness to the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus community.”
As a fall honoree, Russek received a ceramic “luminaria,” or large ornamental candle holder, a collection of mums and a framed certificate of recognition. The certificate states that Russek had, through word and deed, “selflessly and consistently shone the light of goodness into our midst.”
"I walked into the office, turned on the lights and found these beautiful flowers and luminary. I'd seen the award in the paper before, so I was familiar with it," Russek said.
"It was a very nice, and very unexpected surprise."
When asked what she thought about being named a "Bringer of Light," Russek responded, "I thought there must be other people that should get this award besides me, because there are a lot of people here on campus doing good things."
Russek has been working at the university for four years as of this month, but her relationship with Texas A&M-Kingsville goes back much further than that. She was a student at the university in the early 1970s pursuing a degree in accounting when she met and married her husband. She left A&M-Kingsville to raise three children -- sons Michael (a mechanical engineering alumnus) and Christopher, and daughter Ashley -- but never lost the desire to earn her degree.
Following the passing of her husband in 1996, Russek decided it was time to go back to school. "You have a list of things you want to accomplish before you leave this world. Getting my degree was on my list."
Russek said she found herself in classes with students her children's age--some had even gone to school with her children--but that everyone treated her like any other classmate. "They were all very good to me. I loved the experience," said Russek. She earned that degree in management in 2006.
"This university has always had a special place in my heart," said Russek. "I don't know if everyone appreciates how wonderful it is to have a university like this one in their backyard. There are a lot of people that work very hard here."
Beyond her university position in the development and alumni relations office, Russek is very involved with St. Gertrude's Catholic Church. Besides being a member, she heads up a Christmas decorating committee and just recently helped oversee an area Diocesan Catholic Women's Convention.
Russek also serves on the Kleberg County Child Welfare Board. She has been a member for some 12 years. When asked about some of the more satisfying moments over those 12 years, Russek cites being witness to the adoptions that happen through Child Protective Services. "To see those kids have the chance to grow up in good homes means so much. I've had a chance to watch some of those children grow up and go to college."
For Russek, being involved with her church and the child welfare board is a true priority. "I think it's very important to give back to your community. I think everyone needs to give back to their community."
When asked if she had a message for the Servants of Las Luminarias, Russek said, "I'm very honored and want to thank the group very much. I truly appreciate the recognition."
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