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May 26, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - On May 31, Northwest Missouri State will say goodbye to one its most familiar faces and longest-serving employees when Linda Girard, the University's registrar since 1982, retires.
Terri Vogel has been named Girard's successor, pending approval by the Board of Regents.
Girard, who began her tenure at Northwest in 1974, has served under four University presidents, while witnessing a multitude of changes and history unfold. Girard worked in the admissions office before becoming assistant registrar in 1978. She was named acting registrar in 1981 and was named to the role permanently in 1982.
Girard is known as a diehard Bearcat fan who has dedicated herself to helping students succeed. Among the things she said she'll miss most about working at Northwest is her relationships with employees and watching students lay the groundwork for their futures.
As Northwest's registrar, she has verified an estimated 35,500 graduates.
"I like the fact that I'm helping a student meet their goal of a degree, always within the rules," she said.
One of those students was Beverly Schenkel, who now serves as Northwest's dean of enrollment management. Since Girard hired her as a student worker in the registrar's office, Schenkel has worked with Girard in various capacities for the last 23 years.
"Northwest has benefited greatly from Linda's years of service," Schenkel said. "Linda has always been a loyal, hardworking and dedicated professional who has always strived to achieve the best for Northwest. Linda has been a wonderful ambassador for Northwest and the registrar profession. She has been a leader in our state organization (Missouri Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers) and in our national organization (American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers). We have appreciated Linda's integrity, objectivity and sense of humor. I will miss her greatly."
A Maryville native and graduate of Maryville High School, Girard attended Northwest and graduated in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in education in business. After graduation, she spent nine years in Chicago before returning to Missouri, joining the Northwest staff and earning a master's in business administration in 1976.
When Girard became Northwest's registrar, all records were maintained on paper. Faculty submitted their grades on grade sheets that had to be edited and processed. Students stood in long lines to register for their classes using a pull-card system.
During Girard's tenure, the registrar's office also made multiple moves on campus. Previously, it was located in Thompson-Ringold and Cooper Hall (now known as North Complex) before settling in its current location on the second floor of the Administration Building.
Today, new technology, including registration and scheduling software, has enhanced processes in the registrar's office. It remains a busy place year-round, producing course catalogs and managing the records of all current and former students. Northwest's registrar office also houses the transcripts for two closed institutions, Platt College/Northwest Missouri Community College and Tarkio College.
"One of the other big differences now from when I started is we have degree audits," Girard said. "Deficiencies were determined manually. We currently have a printed degree audit, but the new degree audit being implemented will allow students to see their audits online."
Provost Dr. Doug Dunham wished Girard well and said her retirement is "well-earned."
"Through it all, Linda demonstrated a passion for and dedication to her job and Northwest," Dunham said. "We are going to miss her enthusiasm, as well as her vast historical knowledge of policies and of the University!"
In retirement, Girard said she looks forward to traveling and enjoying her freedom. She plans to spend more time with her mother in Cameron and her daughter in Kansas City. She hopes to do more volunteer work, and she certainly will continue to root passionately for the Bearcats at football and basketball games.
"I plan to stay busy," she said.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468