Shining a spotlight on our long serving staff members

Pictured: George Sharples, LJMU's longest serving staff member of 51 years

As we near the end of 2023 and our Bicentenary celebrations, we're shining a spotlight on some of the staff members who have celebrated their own milestone of 25, 35, 45 or 50 years at the institution.

Spotlighting some of our long serving staff members:

George Sharples, Reader in Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences: LJMU’s longest serving staff member of 51 years  

"I'm a Reader in Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences and have been at LJMU since 1972. It’s amazing that LJMU’s staff and students have tolerated me for so long! I could have retired 12 years ago but I’ve always felt my lectures are still appreciated by the students. I came here in my early 20s as a steppingstone in my career but never left. At LJMU we all work as a team and some of my proudest moments have been working at the forefront of our imaging suite, with our microscopes, and of course working with all my students over the years.” 

Pamela Cassidy, Catering Administrator: 45 years at LJMU 

"I love my job. I’ve been here for over 45 years and my favourite part of the year is September. To see all those fresh faces come back to campus and to be the friendly face they see every morning as they get to grips with university life is so rewarding. When summer comes and the buildings get a bit quieter, I really miss the students and can’t wait for the buzz that a new academic year brings. Being here for over 45 years, I’ve worked many catering events. One of the most memorable was a dinner at IM Marsh with the Mayor of Liverpool and over 500 guests. I remember rushing back and forth with dinner plates to keep everything running smoothly. The event went fantastically well and I remember all my colleagues being so happy at how successful it was. We also got so much praise from everyone who attended, including the Mayor!” 

Joanne Brunnen, Finance Officer: 35 years at LJMU 

“I’m a Finance Officer at LJMU and have been here for 35 years. There are so many highlights from over the years. The picture taken here is the Finance Christmas Party in December 1993.

"I’ve really felt throughout my career that LJMU is a good place for people with families to work. The university has flexibility and I’ve had really good managers and mentors over the years which has meant I've never want to leave. It’s the people that make us at LJMU. The university has not only been instrumental to my own career but to my personal life too. I met my husband David while working here and we’ve been together for 30 years.” 

Paul Killen, Senior Lecturer School of Education: 25 years at LJMU 

“The picture here is from the Crosby Herald back in 2001, when my son Michael came to a lecture with my postgrad students, so they could see first-hand how children learn and understand math. He was nine years old at the time, that’s almost 23 years ago.

"I’ve been working at LJMU for 25 years now and by the end of next year will have achieved 40 years of working in education. Some of my proudest moments include receiving a Grade One from Ofsted when I was leading the programme, receiving a Citizen of the Year Award and also some fundraising we did cycling from Edinburgh to Liverpool to raise money for schools in Tanzania.

"Working here for 25 years, I’ve seen people I’ve taught go on to be amazing teachers, and some even headteachers, it makes me really proud.” 

Peter Dolan, Outreach Manager: 25 years at LJMU 

“The group photo here is a Northern Ireland open day in 2010, I’m on the right wearing the purple tie. There are some other familiar faces you might notice around me too. I’ve been here for 25 years now, and the highlight is definitely the people I work with.

"Working in the Outreach team there’s something so rewarding about reaching out to schools and colleges, especially the work we do with disadvantaged communities. Showing people who might not have considered it, the possibilities of higher education, it really makes my job worthwhile and is probably the reason I’ve stayed here for so long.” 

Vice-Chancellor thanks to all long serving staff members 

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark Power said: “To see so many individuals reach over 25 years at LJMU is such an achievement and shows the real sense of belonging many of our staff have at the university. We are an institution that truly cares about our staff and students and we value the loyalty and knowledge of our long serving staff members. I’d like to personally thank each and every member of staff who have dedicated their careers to LJMU.” 

Earlier this month Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark Power reflected on his own 42 years working at LJMU. 

Over 40 members of staff who hit their 25th ,35th ,45th and 50th milestone, in our Bicentenary year, were celebrated at an event this month. The event, organised by LJMU’s HR team, recognised their hard work and commitment to LJMU, achieving their own milestones, in our 200th year. 

The University is currently looking into plans to celebrate all members of long serving staff, 25 years and longer. Further information on this will follow.

Our Bicentenary

In 2023, as we celebrate 200 years of LJMU, we’ve been highlighting 200 people, past and present, who have shaped and been shaped by our university, making a difference to Liverpool John Moores University, as we know it today. You can find out more about LJMU’s Bicentenary here. 

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