June 27, 2010
10-111

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

Retirees Recognized for 30 Years of Service

**View the Flickr slideshow at www.valdosta.edu/news .

VALDOSTA -- Karrie Yeatman took a part-time position at Valdosta State University's Odum Library in 1980 because she wanted to replace the carpet in her den. She never realized that seven year's later, her "temporary" job would become a blossoming career or that 30 year's later she would finally take her steps as an employee across a campus that had experienced a physical transformation.

"Life just happened," explained the former administrative assistant. "VSU is a beautiful place to work and position offered me the flexibility I needed. I had the world's greatest job working with George (Gaumond) and so many other wonderful people."

Sonia Spencer and Donnie Atkins -- also 30-year veterans -- joined Yeatman and more than 100 others for the VSU Retired Faculty and Staff Luncheon on Thursday, June 24, in the University Center Magnolia Room.

Spencer, who served as a custodian in almost every campus facility, said she owed a lot to VSU. Her solid career had provided her with lifelong friends and steady income afforded her both transportation and the American dream of homeownership. Atkins, a proud Statenville native, served as a painter during his extended employment at VSU.

"I love painting. Its a different challenge in a different place every day," said Atkins, who decided to remain at VSU part-time following his retirement. "I enjoyed working all over campus and meeting new people. Seems like everyone works together so well here."

These three dedicated VSU staff members were the longest-serving guests recognized at Thursday's luncheon. Others included Marjorie Davis, who served in the Office of Parking and Transportation since 1983, Dr. Louis Levy, faculty member from 1989-2010 and vice president of academic affairs from 2000-2010, and 15 other devoted faculty and staff members.

Deborah Davis, director of archives showcased a host of photos and memories from the past 30 years during a special presentation on the growth and success achieved through hard work and commitment. The group of honored guests and their supporters also lit candles in honor of the 12 retirees who died last year.

The annual luncheon, hosted by the Council on Staff Affairs and the Valdosta State Retiree Association, benefits the VSU Retirement Walkway. Call 229-333-5709 or go to http://www.valdosta.edu/cosa/retirement.shtml for more information.