View from the President's Office
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
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
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
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.