June 29, 2010
Marcia Alsup, executive secretary in provost office, retires after 32 years
MARYVILLE, Mo. - In 32 years of office assistance at Northwest Missouri State, Marcia Alsup has seen her share of changes, which have included everything from typewriters to job titles.
Alsup, who joined the Northwest staff in April 1978 as department secretary of what was then the Department of History and Humanities, is retiring this week. She served as executive secretary in the provost office since December 1982.
Diane Hargrave will take over Alsup's role in the provost office.
"I'll take memories of all the wonderful people and the good times that I've had working with people," Alsup said. "I've just really enjoyed working with the deans and their secretaries and faculty and staff, and the University community."
Alsup and her husband, Dan, moved to Maryville in 1978 from southern Illinois so they could be closer to family. Both found jobs at the University. Dan worked at Northwest for 27 years and supervised the carpenter shop before retiring in 2005. All three of Alsup's daughters are Northwest graduates.
"It's been a growing place and a learning place for me," Alsup said of Northwest. "When I first came I only had one full year of college, and I took classes and received a two-year certificate in office systems."
She added, "When I first came to Northwest there were no personal computers or notebook computers. I just had the IBM Selectric typewriter, and the one I had didn't even have correction on it. Then, if I wanted to make copies, we used the Gestetner (duplicating machine) and the mimeograph machine."
Alsup fondly remembers the day Gov. John Ashcroft visited Northwest to "turn on" the electronic campus.
"I think we felt so proud because the governor came and turned us on," Alsup said. "We were one of the first electronic campuses. I was using word processing around that time when that was becoming popular, and I just felt so good."
When she moved from the Department of History and Humanities in 1982, Alsup worked with Dr. George English, the vice president for academic affairs. That job title was changed to provost during Dr. Tim Gilmour's tenure between 1995 and 2000.
Having worked with eight different vice presidents and provosts, Alsup recalls unique traits about each of them.
"Each one has his own style," Alsup said. "For instance, Dr. Gilmour liked to have face-to-face contact, so he was involved with lots of meetings … Dr. Kichoon Yang (provost from 2005 to 2009) was so clean that you never knew anyone was in the office. They all had something different."
Provost Dr. Doug Dunham has worked with Alsup in a wide array of positions throughout the years, including as faculty senate president, department chair and assistant to the provost. Dunham said Alsup's support was "constant and invaluable."
"While Marcia was great at her job, I don't recall a time - ever - when she didn't greet me with a smile," Dunham said. "She is a warm and caring person who it has been my pleasure to work with. She cares deeply about those she works with - especially our student workers."
Dunham added, "It is no accident she won the Supervisor of the Year award this year. She takes great care to make sure our student workers feel welcome, know they are cared for, and that they have the opportunities to learn something along the way. But, after 32 years, Marcia - and Dan - deserve to relax and enjoy one another and their family. We will miss her, but wish her the best."
During retirement Alsup said she plans to work on her Maryville home, take some day trips and spend more time with her family, including her grandchildren.
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