Gordon Eastham, Grounds Maintenance manager at the University, is amongst those officially recognised in the 2014 New Year’s Honours.
Mr Eastham, who has worked at the University since 1994, was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to higher education.
Last year the Grounds Section achieved a Green Flag award for the University campus, signifying the high standards of the campus’ green areas in conservation, management and maintenance. In particular, Mr Eastham described the development of the Heslington East campus over the past few years as a “marvellous opportunity”.
This year will see Mr Eastham’s 20th year of working at the University, having previously worked at the University of Leeds. As Grounds Maintenance manager, he administers preservation of the campus landscape and environment including the sports fields, as well as waste management.
However, Mr Eastham told Nouse: “I feel that it’s very important to point out that although I have been given this honour, it should be seen as a reflection of the work that the staff of the Grounds Section do as a whole. My role is to facilitate but most of the hard work is done by the rest of the staff in the section and they should get their fair share of credit for that.
“I’d also like to say that there are many people who have worked for the University for a long time that put just as much time and energy into their job as I do. It’s just that my line of work is highly visual and as such, more people are aware of it. In other words, I don’t deserve this recognition any more than many other staff at the University.”
In York, this year’s honours list also saw Janet Barnes, chief executive of the York Museums Trust, receiving a CBE.
Nationally, the list has been notable for including more women than men for the first time in history. Celebrated actresses Angela Lansbury and Penelope Keith became dames, while sporting entrepreneur Karren Brady was awarded a CBE.