Annual Employee Award Winners Honored at Founders Day

Posted on October 30th, 2015 by


President Rebecca Bergman, Barb Larson Taylor, Rick Orpen, and Ann Volk.

Three members of the Gustavus Adolphus College community were honored during the Friday, Oct. 30 daily chapel service as recipients of the College’s annual outstanding employee awards. The awards are given out in conjunction with Founders Day, which recognizes the dedication of Old Main on Oct. 31, 1876.

Ann Volk, office manager in the Office of Advancement, is the 2015 winner of the Augusta Carlson Schultz Award, which recognizes an outstanding support staff employee who has demonstrated exceptional service and dedication to the College. Named in honor of one of the first employees of the Gustavus Dining Service in the late 1800s, the Augusta Carlson Schultz award winners exemplify the dedication and spirit of service of the support staff who continue to contribute to the success of the College. Volk, who began at Gustavus in 1997, works closely with Vice President for Advancement Thomas W. Young ’88 on reporting, budgeting, and running the day-to-day operations of the office. She coordinates alumni and fundraising events, manages logistics and hospitality, and is a tireless volunteer at the College’s signature events each year. Volk lives in St. Peter with her husband, Jeff. The pair have three daughters, Jordan ’12, Taylor ’13, and Bailey ’16.

Barb Larson Taylor ’93, senior director of institutional events in the Office of Marketing and Communication, has been named the 2015 winner of the Erik Norelius Award for the Outstanding Administrative Employee. Larson Taylor has held a variety of positions at the College, beginning as the assistant director of alumni relations in 1994. She was a head resident of Wahlstrom and Pittman Halls, served as the executive director of Commission Gustavus 150, led the Sesquicentennial Celebration planning process, and directed the Center for Servant Leadership. In her current role, Larson Taylor is responsible for managing Gustavus’s signature events, coordinating several National Advisory Boards, and serving as an ambassador for the College. She lives in St. Peter with her sons, Kirby and Anders.

Rick Orpen, professor of composition and theory, percussion, and guitar in the Department of Music, is the winner of the 2015 Faculty Service Award. The award is given annually to the faculty member who has improved the College through their leadership, service, and involvement. Orpen, who also won the 2009 Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching, teaches courses in music theory, composition, percussion, jazz improvisation, and guitar. An accomplished artist in his own right, his performance credits include the Ordway Music Theater, Plymouth Music Series, Walker Art Center, and Owatonna Arts Center. Orpen lives in St. Peter with his wife, Mary.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


One Comment

  1. Scott Moore says:

    Gustavus would be just another college without these folks. Speaking selfishly as a music prof, Rick has done more to improve the academic standing of this place than anyone I know. Barb… you cannot name one area of the college has she not improved. And Ann? Common sense personified.