After serving 23 years in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Advising office, Debra Griffin, served as the assistant to Jean Schaake, the Associate Dean for Academics Affairs
Griffin announced her plans to retire this summer. In doing so, Debra caps more than two decades of passion and excellence in serving CLASS students.
At her reception, Robin Gillespie, senior academic advisor with CLASS Advising, capture Debra's time with the perfect poem:
(Apologies to Ernest Thayer, and kin)
The outlook wasn't brilliant for CLASS Advising that day:
Curriculog, travel headaches, new advisors on their way,
And then when Jen swooned with frustration, and Mike did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon advisors who felt their strain.
A straggling few managed the front in deep despair. The rest
Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, "If only Debra could return, she'd get a whack at that--
We'd put up even money now, with Debra in a chat."
Advisors remembered Dr. Schaake preceded Debra, as did also Laurie,
And the former was a hoodoo, while the latter migratory;
Upon those stricken advisors grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of getting Debra to a chat.
But Susan's call to HR made sense, to the wonderment of all,
And Kristin, the much admired, found a Registrar named Paul;
And when the dust had lifted, and advisors saw what occurred,
There was Kiersty behind her desk and Daniel self-assured.
But after five thousand faculty complaints there rose a lusty shout;
It rumbled through the campus, it rattled bones of old Fouts;
It pounded on the pavement and recoiled within the flats,
And Debra, mighty Debra, was called into a chat.
There was ease in Debra's manner as she stepped into her space;
There was pride in her bearing and a smile on her face.
And when responding to advisor's cheers, she gave a nod, at that.
No advisors in CLASS could doubt Debra's power in a chat.
Ten thousand eyes were on her as she rubbed her hands with glee;
Like that, five thousand complaints shushed, as she quoted a clause. Or three.
Then as defiant deans threatened to call her into question,
Calmness flashed in Debra's eye, her voice a quiet mention.
She took the complaints with aplomb, sorted tasks, and settled the fright,
She even surveyed a-watching, as all was put just right.
Debra contacted the printer co. for service, with an unheeded speed--
And they came quick as a blink - sudden speed, indeed!
From the background of Curriculog, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
"Fix this! Fix that!" shouted someone on the chat;
And it's likely they'd have wrung her out, had not Debra been all-that.
With a smile of pure charity Debra's visage came through;
She stilled a rising tumult; and she asked the Doctors - Who?
She signaled to the chairs, and once more her fingers flew;
But Debra ignored the throng and declared, "Fixed, problem number two!"
"Impossible!" cried the maddened thousands, who threatened a mighty riot
But one scornful look from Debra and her audience did quiet.
They saw her face gentling and they saw her fingers strain,
And they knew that Mighty Debra wouldn't let CLASS go down the drain.
Though the problems kept on coming the final die was cast,
And Mighty Debra put down her pen, for the problems couldn't last.
She called her partner Russel, and he came upon the scene,
And poor CLASS heard the silence of the moment in-between.
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere advisors laugh and students cheer their baccalaureate,
But there is no joy in Advising--for mighty Debra left the chat.