You served in that position until you retired, as the second highest administrator behind only the president on this campus in 1998, and what a great retirement event!
Yeah we had us an ice cream party!
A great ice cream social on North campus on a wonderful summer day with hundreds of your colleagues and friends there to say "thank you" for all you had done.
That was a really fine time.
Talk a little bit about what you see as your biggest challenges during your twenty-five years at the university, and then we will ask you about the high points. We will save the dessert.
Well I think the hardest time was in student affairs when you were standing in the place of their parents and you wanted them to do well, you didn't want them to get into any kind of trouble and yet because of the rules, it kind of set up a barrier between you and the student, and so the people that you were suppose to be their best advocate, their friend, saw you less than that. Now the students you got to know, the student leaders, ones who got in trouble and you got to know them personally, they changed their opinion. I sat by a gentleman on the board and we talked the whole day. I knew his name, but that didn't mean a thing. We chatted all day long. At the end of the day…this has been in the last year, he said, "You don't know me, do you?" and I said, "I know your name". He said, "You sent my wife and me home. You and Dean Tate sent my wife and me home when we were in school here. "I said, "What did you do?" He said, "Well, we took off without signing out, and without her signing out and went to Florida for the weekend without anybody knowing about it, and you found out somehow. "I guess when they got back, and he said, "I just want to tell you that you turned our life around. "He said, "I am married to her now. "And he said, "We had been messing around way too much. We weren't studying. We probably would have flunked out, and, he said, that turned us around." He said, "You let us come back the next quarter." I have heard those kind of stories from other students, maybe not that dramatic, but where they were called in for something they had done and so on, and they tell you that it straightened them out.
And so those are positive things, but then you also see the students that you somehow had…they saw you as a role model or somebody…a woman in a high position that they recognized and at least at a distance admired, and then as they grew older, they were influenced by. Some of them have told me that I made a difference in their life, and I am sure there are others who just don't bother to say it. So if there is anything that I would like to think I have done, that would be it…that I had influenced students for the good.
Absolutely. And that would be a high point?
Is there an event that you can think of as a high point in your twenty-five years here? Something that made you know and it may be the kind of thing of somebody coming and sitting down and saying you changed my life.
Well, I have gone to battle for some students who were going to be in real trouble and have gone as their advocate. One of them is the vice president of a big company right now. I won't call his name, but he was in real trouble and I went to bat for him because he came to see me and I thought he was right, and so I stood up for him, and he got to graduate and, as I said, he is a vice president now of a big company in New York, and sent me a big check when I started to run for the legislature, but I sent it back to him because he was with a tobacco company. I told him I couldn't take it, because I was going to fight smoking in public.
And that is why people remember you.