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 Jacque Smith, Director of Public Relations

Outlook - March 2005

View from the President's Office

by Angela Schafer
        Rose Shultz, administrative assistant/executive secretary to the president, retired last November after 28 years of service to Union College. She worked in the academic administration office from 1970 to 1977, then returned to Union in 1983 after working at the Mid-America Union. In an interview conducted shortly after her retirement, Shultz shares her memories of the front office.

Q: In what capacities did you work prior to joining the Union College staff?
A: My early career consisted mostly of working as a secretary in places such as the Social Security Administration, a Kansas motor vehicle department, Army Air Defense Command in Colorado and Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey. I also worked at Hackettstown Hospital during its fundraising stage for Milton Murray and Oliver Jacques, who were both working for the General Conference at that time.

Q: Who have you worked for at Union?
A: I worked as secretary for three academic deans-Neal Rowland, Dean Hubbard and Richard McCluskey. Then as secretary to the president I worked for Myrl Manley (interim) and Ward Hill (interim), John Wagner, John Kerbs and David Smith. I worked in both the old administration building and the new, and in both the old and new Mid-America Union offices, helping in both transitions.

Q: How you have seen Union change over the years?
A: I have witnessed many physical changes on campus. I enjoyed helping with the move into the new administration building and the new library when they were complete. I watched the old College View church be torn down and the new church built. I saw the Lifestyle Center being built, all the changes in the Don Love Building, and most recently, the Ortner Center.

Q: What about changes in technology?
A: The changeover from typewriters to computers dramatically changed my job. I used to type all of the Deanís List letters, 200-plus, by hand. It would take me a week to get them all typed up with copies to the parents. Some of us were afraid the computers would replace us at first, but we stayed busy. Now I donít know how we did all that work by hand.

Q: How did the administrative changes affect your work?
A: My job stayed interesting over the years because I worked for so many different individuals. Each transition was like a new job except I didnít have to move. So a lot of times I started over again and that was kind of nice. I have seen students change, too, becoming more involved in missionary and community outreach. There are so many more student missionaries now and so many more outreach ministries for students to become involved in.

Q: What has been the most important attribute Unionís leaders have brought to the position of president?
A: Of course the most important characteristic was being a solid Christian and having an abundance of energy. Other than that I would say it has been their great people skills, relating to and motivating fellow administrators, board members, faculty, students, parents, alumni and individuals in the church and community. Also, they have all been visionary leaders, looking to the future wellbeing of the college as well as dealing with all the everyday details.

Q: In what ways have you enabled the president to keep an ďopen doorĒ policy in regard to students?
A: I knew the students were priority when they came to see the president, so I always tried to greet them warmly and make appointments for them just as quickly as possible. Dr. Smith actually had me schedule appointments with random students so he could become acquainted with them, find out how they were doing and pray with them.

Q: You may be one of the last Union secretaries to know and practice shorthand. How did you learn to be so proficient at it?
A: I excelled in typing and shorthand in academy and college, and at one time thought Iíd like to be a court reporter. Iíve continued to use my shorthand with telephone messages, instructions and meetings so that I wouldnít lose the technique. It has helped me a lot.

Q: What are you planning to do in retirement?
A: I hope to work on some organizational and cleaning projects that have been waiting for me for years. My husband and I hope to travel more, to be able to enjoy our six precious grandchildren and find time to read. I know I will miss working at Union, but I have many pleasant memories of my work, the administrators, many friends, and the students I have worked with which I will treasure.