MC Celebrates Administrator of 20 Years with Distinguished Lasallian Administrator Award: Sr. Asst. Dean of SoLA, Diana Cruz

By Mack Olmsted, Asst. Production Editor 

Senior assistant dean of The School of Liberal Arts, Diana Cruz, was recognized for her 20 years of service at MC and was presented the Distinguished Lasallian Administrator Award on Wednesday.The honor came as part of the annual Staff and Administrator Convocation. 

At the convocation, the future of MC was discussed and explained by President Daniel Gardner, FSC, before recognizing many members of the community for their years of service for the college. Many awards were given out by President Gardner and vice president of human resources, Barbara Fabe. 

At the convocation, the Distinguished Lasallian Award is given every year to three members within MC: a faculty member, a staff member and an administrative employee. The award is given to members of the community embodying the spirit of St. John Baptist de La Salle and advancing the Lasallian mission of the College through their work. Cruz received the Distinguished Lasallian Administrator Award.

The award was established in 1987, during the global Lasallian education movement. Each year Manhattan College pursues nominations for the prestigious award. The award is honored after Saint John Baptist de La Salle, because he is famously known as the founder of the Brothers of The Christan Schools. 

According to, “Distinguished Lasallians are people who exemplify the highest of Lasallian values to students, colleagues, and community members. They are persons of faith who teach by example and give life to the Lasallian values that animate and sustain the core identity that inspires the mission of Manhattan College as a Lasallian Catholic college.”

Angie Thrapsimis, academic advisor for the School of Liberal Arts, has been working with Cruz for 15 years. Thrapsimis said she and Cruz have a good dynamic in the office, advising students and making sure that they are on their most successful path for their college career so that students graduate with the knowledge they need for the next chapter in their life. 

“She’s most deserving. She is an inspiration. She’s a role model. She’s my mentor and friend. She’s devoted not only to the students but to the college, her colleagues, everyone she tries to help absolutely everyone in all areas, multifaceted assistance,” Thrapsimis said.

Cory Blad, Ph.D., dean of the School of Liberal Arts, has also had many years of experience working with Cruz. Blad told The Quadrangle he appreciates Cruz’s hard work and is grateful to work alongside her. 

“She is an incredible person in every way, shape and form. She is a good friend …she is incredibly rare. She’s talented, she’s skilled, she’s unbelievably intelligent and we are deeply fortunate to have her here,”  Blad said.

Days before receiving the award, Cruz expressed her gratitude to be given the prestigious award to The Quadrangle.

“I’m a little shocked. I didn’t know about it until last week. I’m very honored to be receiving this. It’s very nice and it’s a lovely gesture on part of the college and people who decided I should be the recipient of this,” Cruz said.

Before Cruz received the Distinguished Lasallian Award, Blad decided to write a citation where he celebrates Cruz’s character and why she deserved to earn this extraordinary award.

“It takes a special person to tolerate a state of liquidity of constant change,” Blad wrote. “It takes an extraordinary person to enjoy that professional reality. Of course, intelligence and skill are the foundation for that exceptionalism. But even more influential is your sense of purpose. And interest is here because she believes in our shared work of education for the purpose of creating opportunities in a better world.”