Will Fahey (second from left) is joined by (l-r) Vice President of Human Resources Curtis Powell, President Shirley Ann Jackson, and Provost Prabhat Hajela.

Will Fahey, manager of professional and organizational development in the Division of Human Resources, was named the 2017 Pillar of Rensselaer award recipient at the annual Service Recognition and Retirement Dinner, held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy, Aug. 4.

The Pillar Award, the highest award bestowed by Rensselaer on a member of the staff, is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated an understanding of Rensselaer’s mission and history, has served as a role model for other employees, shows concern for students and their welfare, and adds to the human dimension of Rensselaer.

Candidates are nominated by fellow employees, whose letters of support describe how the candidate’s attributes meet the criteria for the award.

Fahey was cited for his “welcoming demeanor and ability to make everyone feel excited about becoming a part of the Rensselaer family,” and for his “integrity, sense of duty, and genuine concern for people,” as well as his professional guidance and team collaboration.

“I have witnessed [Fahey] stopping to talk with students to simply ask how they are doing…and if an issue is raised, he follows up with the appropriate department to ensure the issue is addressed,” wrote one nominator. Others cited his compassion, level-headedness, and ability to inspire co-workers.

“I was both surprised and flattered to be the recipient of this year’s Pillar Award,” said Fahey. “Over the past 18 years, Rensselaer has provided me with numerous opportunities to learn and grow professionally; for that I am grateful. To be recognized by my peers for being a part of the wonderful things that happen on our campuses every day is truly meaningful.”

The Pillar Award recipient receives a silver pin designed by Tiffany & Co., a crystal pillar award, and a check for $2,500. Also, the recipient’s name is inscribed on the base of the permanent Tiffany Crystal Award displayed in the Office of the President.

The Pillar of Rensselaer Award was established in 1993 through the support of Carl Westerdahl, former dean of students and director of alumni relations. Fahey is the 26th recipient of the award.