Mount Vernon Nazarene University celebrated Roberta Simmons’ retirement on Friday, September 27. An honorary reception was held so past classmates and the campus community could celebrate the 46 years Simmons invested in the university. MVNU celebrated 50 years in 2018 and Roberta had been around from the beginning.
“Being a part of MVNU for almost 50 years has become my family,” Simmons said. “They shared at my wedding, helped raise my children, loved me through the death of my son and prayed me through cancer. God has been good to me.”
Upon her retirement, Simmons said that she will participate in volunteer work “either at [her] grandchildren’s school or perhaps at the hospital.” She also said that she misses the students and fellowship with her fellow employees the most.
“Roberta was one of the most faithful employees that MVNU has ever had,” said Karen Bush, one of Simmons’ supervisors. “She began as the secretary to the academic dean, Dr. Lloyd Taylor, and basically grew up with the college/university. She lived the community family spirit that was at the heart of MVNC and she never forgot it. There aren't many of those folks around anymore and I think that is what I will miss most about her.” Bush went on to say that Roberta always had a smile on her face, and her warm personality made the post office at MVNU a wonderful place to work.
Gina Blanchard, director of MVNU’s campus store, the Cougar Corner, said much of the same about Simmons. “I will miss seeing Roberta's smile and hearing her sweet laughter,” she said. “In her presence, I always feel her joy, her joy is contagious!” Blanchard went on to say that she hoped Simmons would visit the campus often.
Additionally, current students who work at the post office shared about how Roberta impacted their lives. “If we had questions in the post office, Roberta would always try and help us and as soon as we needed something she would work on it to get a solution,” said education major Taylor Gregory. She went on to say that Simmons “created individual relationships with each and every person she met.”
Another student shared that Simmons was “like a grandma to so many people on the campus.” Junior Michaela Patrick had nothing but kind things to say about the retiree. “If anybody needed to talk, she was just such a great listener and was so supportive of everyone in the community.”
Photo from 50.mvnu.edu.