An Unfailing Source of Help

Beloved administrative specialist retires after 37 years

Behind every Weber State University dean is a hardworking administrative specialist, but how many of them can say they have worked alongside not just one dean, but four?

JoAnn Reynolds can.

For 37 years, Reynolds was the administrative specialist in the dean’s office in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences. During that time, four individuals held the position of dean: Lawrence C. Evans, J. Michael Orenduff, Richard W. Sadler and the current dean, Francis B. Harrold.

Evans originally hired Reynolds in 1978 for a temporary position, but when the college’s full-time secretary chose not to return from leave, Reynolds was offered the job permanently.

Working with the various deans remains one of Reynolds’ most valued experiences at Weber State. “The individuals who made great impacts on me while I was at WSU were the deans I worked for,” Reynolds said. “They were all very kind, very professional and intellectual. They cared for the needs of students, faculty and staff in the college.”

Reynolds, who retired in June 2015, was a great resource for students and faculty members. She was kind, caring and always available to help when needed. Reynolds’ work was appreciated and recognized by her employers and colleagues, and in 2014, she was honored with WSU’s Presidential Distinguished Staff award.

“For 37 years, JoAnn was an unfailing source of help, information, and advice for students, faculty, and staff in the college,” Harrold said of his former secretary. “She cared deeply about our students, and did all she could to help them succeed.”

Reynolds also respected the hard work of her colleagues. One of her favorite memories is the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences’ 40th birthday party. “Dean Harrold and (development director) Nathan Clark put so much work into the event,” she said. “I felt the departments did an excellent job in representing their disciplines with mini displays, hands-on demonstrations and exhibits that helped spark the interest of students pursuing degrees.  They also showed the community what their disciplines offered.”

Reynolds says the interaction among all of the social science secretaries is what she will miss most. She became good friends with them and admired their hard work. Reynolds’ former colleagues feel the same about her.

“JoAnn was part of what made working in the college a wonderful experience. She was always positive and never hesitated to help anyone,” said Jamie Luna, current administrative specialist in the dean’s office. “She was a wonderful co-worker and a great friend. Although I am fortunate to be her successor, I do miss seeing her every day.”