Graham to colleagues: “I’ll miss you”
It was a moment to express appreciation?the university's appreciation for the work of Cindy Graham as Interim Dean of Students and Graham's appreciation for the trust shown to her by colleagues.
"On behalf of all of us here I just want to say thank you," Chancellor Debbie Ford said during a farewell ceremony for Graham on Wednesday, June 27, in the Galbraith Room of Wyllie Hall. "Thank you very much for accepting the invitation to take a step out of retirement to come and be a part of UW-Parkside."
Noting that Graham had retired from the Student Affairs Office of the University of Wisconsin System's in June 2011 after serving for many years on the faculty and administration at UW-Superior, Ford said Graham graciously accepted the offer of an interim role here following the December retirement of Steve McLaughlin.
An eventful seven months would follow during which Graham successfully handled a number of important student-related issues, and in Ford's words, "...represented our university with a high level of credibility."
"You have really helped us during an important time of transition for our campus. I know I speak for our colleagues here when I say I appreciate you, how much we appreciate your wisdom and your advice, and your competence with our students," Ford added.
Typical of her understated management style, Graham pushed the praise for her performance back to the people who worked with.
"It's all of you who have made it possible for me to be successful here," Graham said. "I appreciate the faith and trust you had right away in me because I needed it right away. And I did my best to honor that."
She then added, "And...I'll miss you."
After praising UW-Parkside as the "most beautiful campus in the system," Graham noted that she had made a donation in the name of her colleagues and friends to the UW-Parkside Foundation. She then acknowledged the challenges ahead for the university but also said she sees many possibilities for the campus.
Although she's leaving UW-Parkside, Graham won't be retiring, at least not completely. She will teach online courses for UW-Superior this fall. And, she added, she is always ready to help the Kenosha campus, saying:"I'm a phone call away."