Teresa Hill, administrative coordinator in the Department of Psychology, will retire at the end of 2020. She began in the Registrar’s Office on her birthday in June 1982 and then transitioned to her position in the Department of Psychology on Valentine’s Day of 1984. That’s 38 1/2 years at Wake Forest!
How has Wake changed since you started?
There have been many changes at Wake since I started working. A few things are that we only had about 60 majors in the department when I started working. I could remember every student’s first, middle, and last name. It made them feel so special! Another thing is that Jim Ferrell, who was head of Personnel at the time, saw me in the grocery store not long after I started working. I had never met him in person, but he called my name and took the time to tell me how happy he was that I had decided to work at Wake Forest. He made me feel treasured as a new employee!
What have you enjoyed most while working at Wake?
I LOVE the students! They are the favorite aspect of my job and why I have enjoyed coming to work every morning for the last 38+ years. Their love and support and constant positive emails put a smile on my face. I will miss the daily interactions with them…even if it was only by email the last 8 months. I am glad I am connected to many of them via Facebook or LinkedIn. I enjoy seeing what they have done since graduating, getting married, having families, going on adventures, and growing personally and professionally.
Tell us about a favorite interaction with a student or faculty member.
Oh my goodness! There are so many to consider. A couple of years ago, the group of graduate students who were graduating each bought me a book that was either special to them or one they knew I wanted to read (from my Goodreads profile). They each purchased the book and then wrote a note to me about why they bought that particular book and to comment on their interactions with me during their time in our program. As an avid reader (I read about 300 books per year), it was the perfect gift! And the books and cards are on the bookcase in my living room. I have such fond memories when I look at them. One of the students actually paid for an e-book version of the English edition and gave me a hardback copy of the Chinese version (which has absolutely beautiful artwork!). The fact that they took the time to appreciate my love of reading makes them priceless. I cherish them every day.
What is a fun fact about yourself that would surprise students to hear?
As I mentioned before, I am an avid reader. I have also begun reading ARCs (advanced reader copies) through a website and have several authors and publishers who have contacted me and asked me to read their books before they are published. It is such an honor to be able to give honest and helpful feedback to them.
I am also a church pianist. I have been playing the piano for church since I was in the 3rd grade and am currently the pianist at College Park Baptist Church. I play for the traditional service on Sunday mornings, the children’s music ministry, youth choir, sanctuary choir, and an adult ensemble group. They keep me busy, but I love being able to share the gift of music with this amazing group of people.
What activities do you plan to enjoy when your retirement begins?
I won’t be completely retiring! I have accepted the position as the office admin at College Park Baptist Church (where I’m the pianist). I will begin in the position on January 1st and am looking forward to the opportunity to serve in this new ministry. I’ll still be close to campus and am looking forward to meeting friends for lunch now that I don’t have to worry about finding a parking place when I get back to the office! So if you are free for lunch and want to meet somewhere, let me know. I have developed so many wonderful friendships at Wake Forest over the years and look forward to maintaining these relationships for years to come.