Arlene Ivany to retire after 35 years at Memorial University

Apr 26th, 2017

By Moira Baird

Arlene Ivany, assistant to the vice-president (research)
Arlene Ivany to retire after 35 years at Memorial University

When Arlene Ivany joined Memorial in June 1982, Dr. Leslie Harris was in his first year as president of the university, Queen Elizabeth II Library had just officially opened, another Trudeau was prime minister of Canada and ET: The Extra-Terrestrial was playing in movie theatres.

Thirty-five years later, Ms. Ivany is retiring as executive assistant in the Office of the Vice-President (Research).

A native of Musgravetown, her first job at Memorial was with University Works, a forerunner of Facilities Management, and from there she moved to Administrative Services.

“There, we were responsible for telecommunications for the university,” she said. “We had electric typewriters and a telex machine. Imagine that!”

Phone line to Grenfell

There were no computers, Internet or e-mail. Telecommunications consisted of switchboards, carbon-copies of typewritten memos and telex machines sending messages through networks of teleprinters that had evolved from the days of the telegraph.

“We had a direct phone line to the Grenfell Campus and people would call in and ask ‘Is the line free?’

“You’d make a running list and give them a call when the line would be free.”

Variety of offices

Over the course of her 35-year career at Memorial, Ms. Ivany worked with a variety of offices, including Extension Services, the faculties of Education and Medicine, and the Centre for Management Development in the Faculty of Business Administration.

She also spent 19 years with the School of Social Work before joining the Office of the Vice-President (Research) in 2012 as the executive assistant to the vice-president.

Ms. Ivany retires June 30.

Will miss colleagues

“I think I’ll miss the people and my colleagues the most,” she said. “I feel blessed to be have been in so many different offices and develop a real knowledge of different areas of the university.

“I had an opportunity to meet a variety of people who do a lot of work that’s important to the university … the day-to-day people, the security and maintenance folks, the professors, and the senior administration.”

Friends, co-workers and former colleagues are invited to wish Ms. Ivany well during a special coffee break, scheduled for Monday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Genesis Centre Boardroom, IIC-3001, in the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation.




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