Whether she’s washing a window, taking out the recycling, or vacuuming the floor, Audrey Starr is working with a smile on her face. Audrey, a custodian at the Seminary, is the recipient of the 2012 Calian Prize for Campus Community Service. This award—established by former President Carnegie Samuel Calian—is given to an exemplary member of the Pittsburgh Seminary community, who demonstrates excellence in carrying out responsibilities and volunteer assignments and also expresses a caring spirit of good will and hope so essential in our life together as a community. The award is in recognition that all members of the community are an important part of the success of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
"Audrey lights up every room she enters. I don't think she has a grumpy bone in her body. Faculty, staff and students alike all appreciate the ever-present glow on her face. She certainly epitomizes what the Calian award is all about," says President William Carl.
Audrey came to the Seminary four years ago following more than two decades in the microfilming industry. She had been laid off and looking for employment. At a family member’s suggestion, she applied at the Seminary.
Tom Fulton, director of facilities, says, “I don’t think I have ever heard Audrey turn down a request or put someone off by saying she’s busy. Her response is always ‘No problem’ or ‘I’ll be right there.’ She is definitely very deserving of this award.”
Students also appreciate her calming presence. Tony Richardson ’12 would arrive early to class to study for his Hebrew exams. Audrey would be there cleaning. She would offer him encouragement, remind him to stay calm, and promise to be thinking of him later during his test.
“Audrey is always considerate of the individual needs of those she serves,” says Ann Getkin, vice president for finance and administration. “We are fortunate to have her as a member of the Seminary community.”
An avid reader, Audrey is married and has one daughter and one grandson. Though she doesn’t have any immediate plans for the cash prize, Audrey’s daughter’s family intends to take a trip to Disney World and Audrey is considering joining them. When asked about herself, Audrey often redirects the conversation to her grandson. “I could talk about him all afternoon,” she says with a smile.