Twenty-seven faculty and staff members have announced their retirement after investing over a combined 600 years of service to East Central University.
They were recognized at “An Evening of Employee Recognition” on April 26 in Foundation Hall of the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center.
The longest tenured employee was Betty Smith, who spent nearly 41 years as the dean’s secretary in the College of Health and Sciences. Seven more provided 30 or more years of work to the university, including: Kathy Baker, switchboard supervisor (38 years); Dr. James Burke, professor and chair of Human Resources and Col. Tom A. Thomas Endowed Chair in Human Resources (38 years); Dr. William Heitland professor of psychology and Adolph Linscheid Distinguished Teaching Professor (36 years); Dr. John Burke, professor of psychology (36 years); Dr. Richard Alford, professor and chair of sociology (34 years); Pat Sutton, director of the McNair Scholars Program (32 years) and Dr. Mark C. Hollingsworth, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of music (30 years).
Also recognized for 20-29 years of service to ECU were: Dr. Ann Walendy Davis, professor and director of the School of Nursing (29 years); Betty “Sandy” Nichols, cook, Child Development Center (28 years); Dr. Terry Cluck, professor of biology (26 years); Sherry Darbison, accountant, Controller’s Office (26 years); Tommy Cordray, groundskeeper, Physical Plant (24 years); Dr. Stanley I. Nnochirionye, coordinator, Distance Education ITV Services and assistant professor of communications (24 years) and Dr. Larry Choate, professor of biology and Adolph Linscheid Distinguished Teaching Professor (21 years).
Dr. Patrick D. Fountain, professor of business administration and S.C. Boswell Endowed Professor, had three working stints for a combined 21 years of service at ECU with the latter being 16 years.
Those with 10-19 years at ECU included: Dr. Kelley Alig, associate professor, music education specialist (19 years); Dr. Linda C. Massey, professor of human resources and Adolph Linscheid Distinguished Teaching Professor (17 years); Clay B. Carley III, associate professor of mathematics and computer science (17 years); Theodore Peshehonoff, instructor of communication and performance studies (17 years); Dr. Teresa Rothrock, associate professor of English and languages and director of assessment (13 years) and Dr. G. Richard Wetherill, executive director of Continuing Education and Community Services (11 years).
Those retiring after 7-9 years of work at ECU were: Cathie Harding, ECU Journal advisor (nine years); Anita Herdman, transfer credit evaluator in the Records Office (eight years); Dr. Martha Pennington, associate professor of education (eight years) and Phyllis Danley, executive director of the ECU Foundation, Inc. and Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations (seven years).