It was early 1983. After 15 years working in the office at a local pharmacy, I found myself unemployed when my husband and I sold our short-lived waterbed business. A call came from my friend Cheryl Crawford about an open secretarial position at Larson Lifestyle Center.
After a brief visit, Dan Klein, director of the new facility, asked me to start the next day. “Well, sure,” I must have said, amazed at how easy it was to begin a new job. And I soon learned my job entailed much more, and my employment at Union College was literally off and running. From learning to work with students, to helping open an ice rink complete with ice hut and Zamboni, to helping design work spaces for a growing department, my days were full. I loved going to work every day.
Time to Advance(ment)
In summer 1985 upon my return from a houseboat vacation, I discovered a “welcome back from vacation” envelope on my desk with instructions to redeem my prize at the advancement office. Seriously? The “prize” turned out to be the clever scheming of my friend, LuAnn Wolfe (now Davis), to lure me to a job in the administration building. I snatched the bait and have never looked back.
For 34 years in the advancement office I’ve had the privilege to serve in many roles—all of which have grown me, endeared me to all things philanthropic and essentially helped me become the person I am today. Changes have taken place, systems have evolved, new skill sets have been learned and I have adapted to the ever-changing world of philanthropy. Little did I know I would grow to be a better proofreader, how studying and living Union’s history would turn me into a walking historical reference, or how working with and becoming friends with a multitude of alumni would be so life giving.
I’m proud to be a part of an amazing team who raised funds for the Ortner Center, the Krueger Center for Science and Mathematics, the PA and IRR renovated spaces, the Nursing Simulation Center, the new front entrance and a host of smaller projects that make the Union experience what it is today.
Buildings are great, but they would be nothing without the people who inhabit them. I know God is here at Union because I’ve seen him in students who became my friends and again when they brought their own students yars later. I’ve seen him in the generations of alumni who have crossed my path over the years.
It has been a joy to see lives changed and a world impacted for Him. As I leave Union College after 35 years, I can say with surety, “I’m so thankful to have been part of the Advancement office and God’s work here at Union.”
By Linda Deibel Skinner