Retirement is a career milestone that many workers eagerly look forward to. They can begin new endeavors that were oftentimes impossible to embark on while working. A group of Albany State University employees will transition to a new life free of start and stop times, departmental meetings and deadlines to enjoy activities on their own terms.
Laughter, musical tributes and memorable stories set the tone for the 2012 ASU Retirement Reception titled, "Retirement: The best is yet to come" held Monday, April 23, in the L. Orene Hall Building. Fifteen retirees representing a combined total of 276 years of service to ASU were honored.
The crowd praised Derrell Johnson, Facilities Management, work control coordinator with a standing ovation after he sang, "How Do I Say Goodbye to Yesterday". Dr. Joel Johnson, assistant professor in the ASU College of Business entertained the audience with a jazz selection.
"It's important that we acknowledge the men and women who've done so much for the institution. We stand on the shoulder of giants," said ASU President Dr. Everette J. Freeman. After remarks, Freeman presented an engraved plaque to the retirees, while Human Resources Director Steve Grant honored them with a handful of goodies: gift certificates, dinner for 2 at local restaurants and ASU inscribed products including monogrammed blue and gold flags, blankets, mugs, umbrellas, card holders and pen and pencil sets.
The event's organizing committee began a new ASU tradition by asking retired human resources benefit counselor Nettie Lilly, to preside over the event.
The 2012 Retirement Committee Chairwoman Nyota Tucker said, "We have many programs on campus, but the retirement program is the one that brings us together and takes us down memory lane like no other. Thanks for the smiles, the laughter, and the memories. You made us better and you will be missed."
While mingling with family, colleagues and friends, retirees shared mixed emotions. "I'm happy and sad, but feeling great," said Rosalyn Jones, a 32 year employee and former director of the ASU Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Advisement. "I'm going to miss my students most, but also the family. ASU is a family," Jones added.
Dorothy Carver, a '67 ASU graduate and library professional has a combined 24 years of service, said, "I love it. I've always loved the people, the staff, the faculty, the football team and I will attend the games. It's been wonderful," she laughed.
Robert Lawson who started as an electrician at ASU and rose through the ranks to become assistant director of facilities management retired after 39 years of service. "I'm excited. I have a church to pastor. I do air conditioning work. I can have a full schedule if I want to," Lawson said.
The ASU 2012 Retirees are:
Dr. Linda Alford
Dr. Mary Gervin
Julius Stephens (Posthumously)