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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
Gerda came to the University in 1976, at the age of 19. She worked in the President’s Office as a secretary for two years and then worked the rest of her career as the administrative assistant to the Provost and Vice President Academic. She retired in 2016.
Gerda provides her perspective about a lifetime of work at the University.
The full audio interview will be made available online in late 2017. For more information please contact the University of Lethbridge Archives. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(JD: Johanna DeVisser, Interviewer)
GV: Well, like I said it’s, to me, it’s a second home. I’ve been here since I was 19 years old, if you can imagine, and raised two kids while working here and even for them, you know, I’ve made friends here and they’re very familiar with the place. It’s really ... it really has been part of our lives. It’s certainly been mine. I’ve been very dedicated, too devoted sometimes but that again that’s who I am. So yeah, it’s been a big part of my life, one that I will miss one day for sure.
JD: So what do you enjoy most about your job?
GV: Most about my job! I think it’s the variety. I mean so much of this stuff happens on an annual basis but there’s always those exceptions, there’s always those special cases that you just think, really? You know, you think you’ve seen it all and nope, there’s always something that changes. So there’s always ... it’s always been like a challenge in its own little way, never humdrum, never boring. But I would really have to say, the people. Like I said, I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had six Vice Presidents that I’ve worked with and the Presidents because of course we all work very closely, but it’s the people probably the most that have kept me here. We’ve just, we’ve got a wonderful team. It’s great people. They’re like a family because really we spend more waking hours with them than we do at home with our families. So it is an extended family for sure.
For me it’s been a wonderful place to live and you, and you’ve ... live! Work! There you go, it tells you how ... what happens. But one thing that I really seen happen that I like about the University now is that in the olden days the University was this place over on the other side of the river that people that weren’t affiliated at all to the University ... would never feel comfortable or welcome or anything. It was just this place over there that unless you were involved, you had no reason to go over there. But now, you know, you go for yoga or exercise or whatever and the place is a beehive all day, all evening. I come in like at seven o’clock and there’s nowhere to park and you just realize what a hub it’s become and it just feels, you know, there’s some pride in being part of that, that how its evolved to become a community based place. It’s not nearly this untouchable place, you know, ivory tower or whatever that people that across the river that weren’t involved at all would think, 'Oh no, we can’t go, not going to the University,' but now it’s really become part, it’s part of the community. It is the community. I can’t imagine Lethbridge without the U of L.