Last week the National Association of College and University Mail Services (NACUMS) at its annual conference in New Orleans presented Ronnie Farris (’79) an award for the support Lipscomb has given to the mailing industry.
“This award is a reflection of for our determination to remain on the cutting edge in the college and university mailing industry,” says Farris, director of postal services at Lipscomb — known as The Connection. “I am honored to accept this award for our university. I believe this award validates the work we are doing toward making Lipscomb a leader among higher education institutions.”
Farris says the college and university mailing industry provides tens of million mail pieces into the mail stream each year. NACUMS is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the interest of college and university mailers.
“Ronnie and his wonderful team are the unsung heroes of Lipscomb, as they deliver on-time with amazing accuracy, especially given the constant nature of positive change and the dynamic nature of Lipscomb's campus,” says Darrell Duncan, associate vice president for finance. “Ronnie is a seasoned professional of logistics who is an experienced thought leader in the postal industry. But I am most impressed by his Christian faith and care for others.”
Through the years, Farris has seen rapid changes to the mailing industry but believes that “it is the lifeblood of the institution.” His says team’s aim is serving well the first time to internal customers and vendors coming to campus.
Farris also led Lipscomb postal services through significant changes through the years in an effort to serve students and the Lipscomb community more efficiently. He helped lead the re-engineering of Lipscomb’s postal services to form The Connection.
This summer, he is leading a redesign of the Lipscomb’s postal services by eliminating the legacy mailboxes, opening up an additional service window in the Bennett Campus Center, going to a "virtual mailboxes" concept and introducing to Lipscomb interchangeable parcel lockers as well as Amazon lockers.
Farris explains that the new “high density” mail delivery system will allow students to receive notification of mail when it is delivered to campus. When students receive this notice, they can come to the mail and package service counter at The Connection to receive their mail and parcels.
“This new system will keep students informed when mail arrives and they will not need to come to the post office unless they receive notification or if they need to ship or send mail or parcels,” he says. “It will help them make better use of their time and daily schedule.”
He says through his work he aims to enhance service opportunities for the Lipscomb campus community and one way he is able to do this is through his involvement with regional and national associations among college and university mail services operations.
“The way we work, the way we interact with individuals, the service we offer and the way we send out mail from the university says volumes about who we are and how we care for Lipscomb,” says Farris. “We are allowed only one opportunity to make a first impression. Why not make it the very best?”
“Each of us serve someone,” he continues. “We serve internal customers who come to our office, we serve the vendors who come to our campus. We even serve internal customer, those with whom we work inside our office each day. Our aim is to serve well the first time.”
Farris has been on staff at Lipscomb since 1979.
“Lipscomb continues to bless my life with great associations with students, faculty, staff and administrators. Opportunities abound for all of us to become better at what we do and become more as an individual. We must continually seek ways to be our best. And, although we do not do things to bring attention to ourselves, we will be blessed on any number of levels,” says Farris.
Farris says he is also grateful for Duncan’s support and leadership.
“Darrell is one who sees the long lasting value in continually learning and growing,” he says. “He is a dedicated encourager for constant self-improvement for those within his area of oversight.
This is the latest recognition for Farris. Other recognition includes.
NACUMS session Leader at national conference in Pittsburgh, Pa. (2017)
NACUMS Industry Leadership Award for innovation and leadership (2011)
The College and University Mail Service Association (CUMSA) awarded The Golden Stamp of Approval Award for outstanding innovations or achievements contributing to the successful operations of a member institution (2005)
In addition to serving as a member of the NACUMS Board of Directors, Farris also serves as an elected director to Association of Rocky Mountain College and University Mailing Services, ARMCUMS, and a member of Mid-Atlantic Region College and University Mailing Services, MARCUMS.