NAU alumna and residence hall director Georgia Totress has been selected as the 2010 Homecoming Dedicatee.

The NAU Chain Gang joined a residence hall staff leadership meeting yesterday to make the announcement. Armed with a basket full of buttons emblazoned with the dedicatee’s photograph, Chain Gang President Kathryn Pierce asked meeting attendees to consider buying a button to support their fundraising efforts. Pierce handed the basket to Totress, who shrieked in disbelief when she saw the photo.

“I’m in shock,” Totress said. “It makes me feel so good to receive this honor. Wait until I tell my hall.”

The Chain Gang formed an impromptu receiving line, and Totress hugged each student as she wiped the tears from her cheeks.

Totress left Phoenix 15 years ago to pursue a degree in education at NAU’s Flagstaff campus. As a nontraditional student living in Ridge Hall (now Gabaldon), she spent a lot of time getting to know the residence life staff. Inspired by those relationships, Totress shifted her career path into student affairs and began working for residence life in 1997.

She currently is the residence hall director for Pine Ridge Village.

“I thought maybe I could help the older students,” Totress said. “And being around the kids keeps me young. I love working with them.”

Jill Langan, NAU graduate student in education psychology and human relations, was on hand for the announcement as a Chain Gang alum and friend of Totress.

“I’ve known Georgia for years,” Langan said. “She’s such a great woman. She really deserves this.”

Totress will be honored at the annual Homecoming Dedicatee Banquet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the High Country Conference Center.

The dedicatee is selected by leaders of student organizations from across campus for their dedication to providing exceptional service to the university and students. Dating back to 1936, dedicatees chosen from faculty or staff are honored during the events of Homecoming Week, which includes the banquet and a place in the Homecoming parade.