Everyday Hero: Barbara Lubar
Posted: July 11, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am
Name: Barbara Lubar
Years at Mason: 19
Current Position: Executive Director of University Relations
What She Does: What doesn’t she do is a better question. In her role as executive director of University Relations, she oversees the offices of Events Management, Information Services, and parts of Creative Services. The Office of Events Management does 5,000 events per semester, including the annual Commencement ceremony held each May at the Patriot Center. If you attended an event on campus, you’ve seen her handiwork. Chances are she might have also handed you your nametag.
First Job at Mason: Merchandising manager at the University Bookstore. Back then the bookstore was in Student Union II.
What She Likes Best about Her Job: “The variety,” she says. “No two days are alike. It’s never boring.”
Her Greatest Challenge at Work: “In this line of work, you rely on the kindness of strangers. Frequently you are counting on people who don’t work for you. That’s where the favors and begging come in,” she says with a laugh.
Her Greatest Accomplishment to Date: “Bringing conferencing and scheduling under one roof so people didn’t have to go to 12 different offices to get something done. It was an evolutionary process. When I started in this job, we did five events a year. Now it’s more like five events a week.”
Barb Lubar gets a “lift” from Events Management staff.
Photo by Evan Cantwell
Her Office Motto: The Office of Events Management prominently displays a poster of a dog riding a tricycle and balancing a cat and other animals on its shoulders. The caption reads: “The trick to life is to make it look easy.” It is also the trick to good events.
Her Best Advice to Someone Planning an Event: Be flexible. “Don’t start planning with rigid ideas about the event. You need to be flexible so you can adapt as circumstances change. Rigidity—that’s what makes people go crazy.”
The Most Impressive of All the Famous People She’s Met: Lubar has had the good fortune to meet astronaut and former Sen. John Glenn and his wife, Annie, a number of times. “They are down-to-earth and simply wonderful people.”
What She Does for Fun: Lubar is an avid sports fan. She loves football, especially the Washington Redskins. Her phone has been known to play “Hail to the Redskins” when she gets a call, which is often. She also loves college basketball and is becoming a fan of baseball with the establishment of the new Washington Nationals.
On Football: She is seriously into fantasy football. “I always go to the playoffs, but I’ve never won my league,” she says, but she adds that she hasn’t given up hope. She plays with a bunch of 27-year-olds who frequently use their computer savvy to snap up the best players. “I need to become more high tech—that’s what I need to do.”
What You Might Not Know about Her: She used to work in the cosmetic industry, naming—and tasting—lipsticks. “This was back when they had lip gloss that tasted like Coca Cola and things like that.”
What People Say about Her:
“Barb is one of those kind of people who you can never have enough of on your team. She always takes the time to understand the bigger picture and she accepts the responsibility to share that picture with the rest of her staff. Barb always brings a commitment to excellence to the workplace at Mason. Because of that we as an institution have great confidence that our events are in good hands when Barb is at the helm.
—Maurice W. Scherrens, Senior Vice President
“Like few others, Barbara is a true citizen of the entire university. It is the essence of Barbara as a professional and as a person that drives her to go regularly beyond her normal duties to ensure that George Mason is never showcased in anything but the most favorable light and that all with whom she works receive the absolute best service. She is a true treasure. She is also blessed with having one of the best smiles this side of Interstate 81. It’s hard to say who is luckier: the university for having her or those of us who know her.”
—Dan Walsch, director of Media Relations and executive director of University Relations
“Barb is the one to go to when you absolutely, positively have to get something done…on time and on budget. Sometimes she seems more like a magician than an event person—and she has the patience of a saint.”
—Benn Crandall, Senior Facilities Project Manager, Facilities