WILMINGTON — Wilmington College honored nearly a dozen employees — whose service to the institution totals 155 years — during the Opening Year Meeting of the school’s faculty and staff Aug. 14.
“It’s important we have a chance to recognize these milestones,” President Jim Reynolds said. “I greatly appreciate the people who work here everyday transforming the lives of our students.”
The president hearkened the year 1989 — 30 years ago — when those attending the World Series game between the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s experienced a serious earthquake in the Bay Area. That same year, China cracked down on protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and the Exon Valdez leaked massive amounts of oil in Alaska’s Prince William Sound.
That same year, a gallon of gasoline cost $1.08, first class stamps were a quarter, milk cost $2.14 a gallon and a year’s tuition at Wilmington College, albeit “priceless,” was $4,000. Rain Man won the Best Picture Oscar while the film’s star, Dustin Hoffman, captured the Best Actor award, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” was Song-of-the-Year and the San Francisco 49ers won the Super Bowl.
Also in 1989, WC hired Pamela Baessler, assistant registrar; and J.D. Callen, electrician with the Physical Plant.
Five years later, in 1994, Tonya Harding’s camp sent out an assailant who injured ice skating rival Nancy Kerrigan while, like a made-for-TV soap opera, viewers were glued to their televisions watching the low-speed police chase of a white Ford Bronco and an allegedly suicidal O.J. Simpson.
That same year, a gallon of gas cost $1.11, a stamp set one back 27 cents, a gallon of milk cost $2.88 and a year’s tuition at WC was $6,000. Forest Gump won the Best Picture Academy Award while its star, Tom Hanks, took home the Best Actor Oscar. Jessica Lange won the Best Actress for her role as a manic depressive housewife in Blue Sky. Also, Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia” won the Grammy for Song-of-the-Year and the 49ers won the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl champion.
The College that year hired Donna McClughen, administrative assistant in the Office of Academic Records.
Fast forward to 1999 — 20 years ago — when SpongeBob Squarepants debuted on Nickelodeon, Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France, My Space premiered on the Internet and the shootings at Colorado’s Columbine High School ushered in a terrifying era of mass killings in schools and other public places.
That year, gas cost $1.22, a stamp was 33 cents and milk registered at $3.32 a gallon. A year’s tuition at WC, while still “priceless,” cost in currency some $7,800. American Beauty and its lead character, Kevin Spacey, won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Actor, respectively, while Angelina Jolie won Best Actress for her performance in the drama, Girl Interrupted. Santana’s “Smooth” won Song-of-the-Year and the St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl.
At WC, Teresa Curry was hired as benefits and payroll coordinator.
Other faculty and staff members recognized for service milestones in five-year increments were: 15 years — Dr. Kendra Cipollini, professor of environmental science; 10 years — Sue Hutchens, registrar; and five years — Sharron Colon, Cincinnati State program coordinator; Stacey Conley, athletics business manager; Sheila Corcoran, Cincinnati Branch academic records specialist; Libby Hayes, director of human resources; and Lynn Ratliff, administrative computing specialist.
Becky Haines, fine arts secretary and theatre technician who started working at WC some 46 years ago, currently holds the distinction as the longest serving employee.