Elon University saw seven staff members retire this academic year.
Elon University celebrates the contributions of seven staff members who are retiring this year after serving the university in a wide variety of ways during their careers.
Lorraine Allen, director of accounting
Allen joined the staff at Elon College in July 1979 after receiving a call that there was an opening in the accounting office and they would like her to come in for an interview. Allen says she hadn’t applied for the job, but decided to at least go for the interview, and “the rest is history.”
During her time at Elon, Allen would rise from accountant to chief accountant and retires as director of accounting at what is now Elon University, having seen the university grow by leaps and bounds during her nearly four decades here.
Asked for her favorite memory, Allen says it’s hard to pick just one. “I will truly miss the great people who make up Elon University,” she says. “I could not begin to name all of the Elon folks who have had such a great impact on my life but I treasure each of the many wonderful friendships that I am blessed to have made at Elon.”
After retiring on June 30, Allen plans to spend time with family and friends, pursue service opportunities and complete unfinished paintings and stained glass projects she is working on. She’ll be spending time playing duplicate bridge, gardening and hopes to also travel.
Judy Bowes, accounts payable
Bowes has spent 20 years at Elon working in the accounts payable department in the accounting office.
“What I’ll miss most about Elon is my co-workers, all the fun things they do, and the beautiful campus,” Bowes says.
Robert Buchholz, associate vice president for facilities management and director of physical plant
As Ed Eng, director of physical plant, was preparing to leave Elon, he gave Robert Buchholz a call. It was 2008, and Buchholz was trying to return to his home state of North Carolina. Buchholz recalls Eng telling him that he should come to Elon because “this was a very special place,” Buchholz recalls.
“Ed was right,” Buchholz says.
That was a decade ago, and now Buchholz is preparing to retire from Elon at the end of May. It was a time filled with “many wonderful memories,” in particular the family the Elon University community is, Buchholz says.
“As a part of Physical Plant, what I will remember is how the Physical Plant staff has responded to so many challenges and events, and how we do things as a world class team,” Buchholz says. “The move-ins, the commencements, the homecomings, the admissions events, the bats, the ice storms — there are so many times when the TEAM worked together and made things happen. And they always did it with such a positive attitude. They are an amazing team.”
Buchholz started his work career selling newspapers at the age of 12, and now looks forward to traveling. “My immediate plans after May 31 and 53 years of working is to be adventurist in traveling,” he says. “Pam and I are going traveling this summer to the Colorado River/Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park and the Northwest. We will be visiting kids, seven grandkids and family.”
Buchholz said he’ll also be finding time for “a little fishing, golfing and visiting shipmates in various locations around the country.”
When not traveling, he and his wife, Pam, will continue to call Burlington home. “Pam and I love it here because of the people, Elon and we think North Carolina is the best place in the world to live,” Buchholz says.
Kay Carroll, service desk analyst
Carroll came to Elon in 1988 as a switchboard operator in large part becasue it was closer to where she lived. Now after 30 years at the university, she’ll be retiring at the end of this month.
She’s served the university in a variety of ways through the years, moving from switchboard operator to become a secretary in academic computing, a PC software support specialist and now retires as a service desk analyst.
“I will miss the people that I work with,” Carroll says. “We have worked together for many years, and they are like family to me.”
In retirement, Carroll plans to spend more time with her grandchildren and work on projects around the house. She’ll also be making time to visit her brother and sister-in-law at the beach.
Billy Crayton, shuttle bus operator
For the past 20 years, Crayton has been behind the wheel, shuttling students, faculty, staff and visitors around Elon’s campus.
As a shuttle bus operator, Crayton has been known for his dedication to the job, often willing to step in to cover shifts and ensure Elon could meet the transportation needs of the community, said Drew Hambright, transportation support technician, in his remarks honoring Crayton at the annual Staff Appreciation Day. Hambright estimates that Crayton has driven more than 400,000 miles during his time at Elon.
“He would often come through in a crunch,” Hambright said.
Bruce Nelson, director of counseling services
Nelson concluded his service to Elon on Jan. 31 after joining the university in April 2001.
During the past 17 years, Nelson was instrumental in the growth and development of the Department of Counseling Services, and moved to the role of counselor in 2016.
“Bruce has provided exemplary attention and caring to students and their families during the past 17 years, many of whom where wrestling with the most difficult and debilitating circumstances,” said Jan Lynn Patterson, associate vice president for student life and dean of students at the time of Nelson’s retirement.
Also retiring this year is Linda Wegwart, senior buyer.