Sandy Harris, the senior financial aid assistant at the Law School, was awarded the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award last Friday for her 40 years of service. The award is given annually to a University employee who works directly with students and who has dedicated at least 25 years of service to the community. Harris is currently the longest-serving employee at the University’s Law School. In a University press release, Harris said she was shocked when she learned she received the award. “I am so honored and just very humbled and truly appreciative of this award,” Harris said. “ It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, and it’s just great.” Harris began working for the Law School immediately following high school graduation 40 years ago, and has been serving the University community ever since. Law School Dean Paul Mahoney said the award was well-earned, and praised Harris’ ability to guide students through the often complex financial aid process. “Sandy’s ability to identify and understand students’ needs, then to develop and present effective options based on those needs, is extraordinary,” Mahoney said in the press release. The award was established in 1981 to recognize a member of the University community who has “exhibited leadership qualities that serve as an inspiring example to his or her colleagues and other members of the University community,” according to the press release. Harris received a certificate of recognition and a $5,000 prize from the Alumni Association at a luncheon on Friday.