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(Left to right) President Joanne Creighton; Rosemary Jackson, human resources coordinator (behind the table); Lauren Turner, director of human resources; and Ellen Rutan, comptroller, offer their congratulations to retiree Shirley Detour, formerly senior accounting assistant in the associate treasurerŐs office.

Photo by Fred LeBlanc.

"It ain’t over when it’s over,” MHC President Joanne Creighton told a group of College retirees who, along with family, friends and colleagues, packed the Willits-Hallowell Center’s Morrison Room for MHC’s inaugural staff retiree recognition party. “Your contributions are built into the bones of the institution,” Creighton said in her warm and enthusiastic address last week. “You are part of us, and we are part of you.”

The festive afternoon event honored nineteen individuals with more than 400 years of service among them. The retirees left staff positions at the College within the past year and a half. Twelve retirees were present at the party, and each received an MHC certificate with privileges and an identification card for use at Williston Memorial Library and Kendall sports facilities. In addition, retirees were given a lifetime membership to Willits, MHC email accounts, complimentary tickets to Rooke Theatre productions, and discounts for car and home insurance with Remillard Insurance Group. Each individual also received a crystal bowl inscribed with the retiree’s name and the number of years served.

“We want you to stay connected with Mount Holyoke,” said Lauren Turner, director of human resources. She said the College wished “to formally recognize staff retirees with an event that is different from the traditional service awards.” Turner noted that in the future, the College will recognize staff retirees at an event planned each semester.

Honored at the event for years of hard work and dedication were Ellen Ortyl, assistant to the dean of the faculty; Ann M. Root, library assistant; Edward Phoenix, general laborer, buildings and grounds; Shirley Detour, senior accounting assistant, associate treasurer’s office; Doris Lusignan, student accounts specialist, financial services; Ruth Wordsworth, senior administrative assistant, earth and the environment; Shirley Lapierre, dining services; Wayne Gass, director of administration and business manager; Linda Cavanaugh, administrative assistant, admission; Carol Morrissette, custodian, buildings and grounds; Nancy Fecteau, administrative assistant, registrar’s office; and Carol Griffin, nurse, health center.

Presenters noted the many “voids” left by the retirees’ departures. Wayne Gass, who served the College the longest at thirty-eight years, was saluted by Creighton for his “genial, gentlemanly, ever helpful presence.” “How difficult it is to be in the post-Wayne age,” she said. “Your contributions are literally built into the bricks and mortar of Mount Holyoke.” Creighton expressed the College’s “tremendous appreciation.”

In addition to Creighton, department heads or proxies presented the honors. These individuals were Sara Schick, associate director, admission; Ellen Rutan, comptroller, financial services; Michael Buckley, superintendent of general services, buildings and grounds; Donal O’Shea, dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs; Dale Hennessey, director of dining services; Karen Engell, director of health services; Sandra Berestka, director of purchasing, copy cataloging, and processing, LITS; Susan Perry, College librarian on the Katherine Johnson Hatcher Endowment and director of LITS; Elizabeth Brakey, assistant registrar; Alan Werner, associate professor of geology; and Mark McMenamin, professor of geology.

Also honored, but not present at the event, were retirees Shirley Musick, custodian, buildings and grounds; Judith Lachapelle, housekeeping supervisor, buildings and grounds; Juan Burgos, general laborer, buildings and grounds; Janet O’Rourke, lab director and instructor, biological sciences; Mary Proulx, housekeeper, buildings and grounds; Lorraine Dufresne, housekeeper, buildings and grounds; and Anne Groth, lab instructor, mathematics and statistics. The event was organized by human resources staff members Andrea Barouxis and Lorraine Gendron, benefits specialists, and Rosemary Jackson, human resources coordinator.


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