They don’t appear in admissions materials. They aren’t generally the subject of news releases. They’re not mentioned at orientation. Yet they may be the people your students remember most and love the best.
Your unsung heroes are a huge part of your culture, even if you don’t see them in committee meetings and special luncheons. We recently learned, quite pleasantly really, that one of the biggest “stars” to our students and alumni is Lois Terminella, who has brightened the day — in ways large and small — for decades of students at Lakeside Dining Center.
My colleague Jeff Rea recently interviewed Lois for our Spotlight feature in our Campus Update newsletter. Posting to social media was a no-brainer, but we never imagined the explosion of love that followed … 81 comments, almost all of them adoring, with 674 likes and 168 shares.
Posting a link on Twitter yielded an immense (for us, anyway) 54 retweets and 56 favorites. Click the link in the second paragraph above and you’ll find more wonderful comments on the Campus Update story.
Lois, quite simply, is a gem and the love via social media shows how special she is to the SUNY Oswego family.
A gentleman by the name of Peter Fland added this lovely comment on Facebook about another unsung hero beloved by alumni:
Every generation has their Lois. At Waterbury and Scales in the early 60s Louise the cleaning lady was one of ours. Everyone loved her to the point that she was featured on our float in one of the parades. She did many things, but the funniest of all was when she would push into the bathrooms and say “Good Morning Darlins – Are ya decent” – after she was in. One day I was late for a presentation and struggling to iron a shirt. She pushed me away, told me to get my shower, and finished my shirt. I do not know how she knew I was pressed for time, but she did. 50 years later I remember her fondly. Three cheers and a toast to all the of these wonderful people. Congratulations to Lois and all like her. They will always have a piece of our hearts.
Lois and Louise are exceptional, to be sure, but every campus has its unsung heroes that may fly under the radar of many but present some of the fondest memories to your generations of students.
Find those unsung heroes. Celebrate them. Share their stories. You might be amazed by the impact they’ve had … and your students and alumni will have a chance to show their love to those who very much deserve it.