Mary Baldwin University celebrated the retirements of seven faculty and staff members May 14 during a special reception at the President’s House.
Director of Enrollment Technology for Admissions and Financial Aid Gail Auen came to Mary Baldwin in 1997 as a network associate for computer information systems. An alumna of both Blue Ridge Community College and Mary Baldwin, Auen made the beautiful quilts that hung in her office.
Kenneth Beals, assistant professor of philosophy and religion, said he is looking forward to more travel time in retirement, especially to see far-flung family. He will continue reading, hopefully write on interfaith issues, and continue teaching part-time at Mary Baldwin. Of the things that Beals said he would miss most is the interaction with great colleagues and great students.
Field naturalist and a muddy boots plant ecologist Eric Jones, associate professor of biology, will take with him the relationships with students forged during his nearly 30 years at Mary Baldwin. “You the students are what makes it worthwhile, watching you grow, watching a light dawn on your faces in a class, a random hug in a hallway, many memories that I will carry in my heart forever,” he said. “I taught for you, to be able to share a joy in knowing, to see it catch and take hold in my academic children, and I do think of all of you as my children, gives meaning to life. May all of you find the joy in what you do that I have found in teaching.” In retirement, Jones plans to overhaul and update wildflower web site, add 100 additional species, and recode to fit modern adaptive standards.
Reflecting on his favorite memories of working at Mary Baldwin, Professor of Education Lowell Lemons recalls traveling with practicum students during May Term — three times to New Zealand and once to a Navajo reservation — so they could experience classrooms in other cultures; conversations with colleagues Jim McCrory and Jim Harrington; and walking to class from Edmondson House early in the morning, topping the hill by Hunt and looking over the campus, “a great way to start the day.”
Still working out her post-retirement plans, adjunct associate professor of business administration Sarah H. “Sally” Ludwig knows what she’ll miss most about Mary Baldwin: the professional association with the dedicated faculty, staff, and administration of the college and the opportunity to interact with remarkable students. Ludwig, who started at Mary Baldwin in 1992, offered her courses as independent tutorials for Baldwin Online and Adult Programs students and served as pre-legal advisor for students interested in law school or law-related careers.
Professor of Asian Studies and International Relations Dan Metraux leaves behind a strong legacy in the Asian studies department, having led 17 international May Term trips, created and/or further developed partner relationships with five schools in Asia, and wrote several books on Japanese, Chinese, Burmese politics and religion, as well as many book chapters and journal articles. Most of all, Metraux said he’ll miss working with students, but looks forward to teaching courses online, writing books and articles, and traveling to visit family.
Supervisors say Tom Thorne, with custodial services, is always reliable, conscientious, helpful and easy-going. He began at Mary Baldwin in 2006 and in 2014 was promoted to interim lead worker for event set-ups and served in that capacity until his retirement. He worked as a floor tech and housekeeper, worked on vacuum cleaners, did mail runs and filled in at the shop when needed.