Share Your Story
Browse personal recollections and stories from the past 50 years of FAU.

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I have had a wonderful experience with FAU as my employer. I started in February 1988, with Elaine Kelly and Erlene Kunkle as my supervisors in the FAU Wimberly Library's Circulation Department. I served as the Shelving Supervisor. My tasks included shelving the returned books, as well as teaching and supervising student employees and community service workers in their shelving.

Within that first year, the computer operator moved to California to be with her husband, and Erlene encouraged me to apply for that position. After 5 years in that position, I became Erlene's assistant in the Circulation Department. During this time, I took advantage of the education benefits of FAU to work toward receiving my master's degree in Library Science from the University of South Florida through their East Coast Extension Program.

After Erlene retired, Nancy Wynen became my supervisor. I began working with the course Reserve materials, and enjoyed working with the faculty to get their materials on Reserve for students' use. After receiving my master's degree in August 1995, through Nancy's encouragement and much help, I became the first FAU Librarian at the Treasure Coast Campus Library in Port St. Lucie. I worked there for almost 12 years. I have to say that this was an interesting experience as a first-time professional. This library was and still is a joint-use library, combining FAU, IRSC, and county library services in one building. It was a constant challenge, and I learned a lot about getting along and making things work in this environment. Connor Tjarks was my supervisor for this position, and a constant source of help and encouragement.

When FAU acquired Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, I transferred to that Fort Pierce site in August 2007, and became the first FAU Librarian at Harbor Branch, with Connor Tjarks and Library Dean William Miller as my library supervisors, and Megan Davis as my on-site HBOI supervisor. I feel so honored to be here. This is a constant learning experience, and I am learning much about marine science, and helping the marine scientists and students at this site.

My husband, David, worked for the Facilities Dept. in the HVAC area when I worked at Boca. We were able to eat lunch together most days in the library's staff lounge.

While I was working at the Treasure Coast Campus Library, my son, Dale, received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from FAU. He was in the first FAU graduating class at which President Brogan officiated. I remember President Brogan asking the students to "look him in the eye" when he gave the students their diplomas.

I have been a happy FAU employee for 23+ years, and hope to continue on to retirement. Thank you, FAU!

Carla Robinson
Associate University Librarian
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
at Florida Atlantic University
5600 U.S. 1 N.
Fort Pierce, FL 34946
Phone: 772 242-2201
Fax: 772 242-2348



Funny thing, I never thought I'd have an FAU story to share, yet life has a way of creating interesting journeys. It seems Florida Atlantic University has been an influence in my life for a long time. I just didn't always realize it.

My first connection to FAU is from my grandparents Duncan and Lillian Padgett of Pahokee, Florida, a small town located on Lake Okeechobee. In 1960 my grandfather became Mayor of the little city and my grandmother was the secretary for the Pahokee Chamber of Commerce. They were invited as representatives of their home town to many events around the state. Those were exciting times in South Florida. Before my grandmother passed away, at the age of 100, in 2007, we had encouraged her to write down her memories of her life. The following is an excerpt from her journal. "Another exciting thing happened for us. Boca Raton wanted to build a University…….When Boca Raton had their ground breaking ceremonies for the new building, (it would be called Florida Atlantic University ,F.A.U.), Duncan and I went. The ground breaking ceremony was exciting to us. President Johnson who was at that time President of the United States was there and there were guards standing on top of the nearby buildings to guard the President." I had heard of this story many times and seen pictures but never imagined FAU would be part of my future. (In checking details, it seems President Johnson was at the dedication of the University. My grandmother was in her late 90's when her journal was written so I am sure her memory was a bit cloudy. They were, most likely, at both a ground breaking for one of the buildings as well as the dedication).

My next encounter with FAU came in the year 1976 when I married my husband, Bob. My mother-in- law, Muriel Reeves was an employee. She worked in the Controller's Office and Payroll. She shared many stories of life as an employee at FAU. She retired within the next few years.

My oldest son graduated from Olympic Heights High School in 1997 and decided to stay at home and attend FAU. I was on campus for freshman parent orientation, amazed that this beautiful University was practically in my back yard, yet I had never really seen it. He is schedule to begin classes this fall to complete the journey he began back then. Hooray!

In 2005 my oldest daughter and I needed to change jobs. We both followed paths and open doorways that led us to Florida Atlantic University. In 2011 we celebrate 6 years at FAU. She teaches at Karen Slattery Preschool and I work in the Cash Management Department of the Controller's Office. Next Spring, my daughter begins classes here to finish her Bachelors in Early Childhood. Just recently, I realized that a co -worker of mine was here and worked with my mother- in- law. It was fun to realize what a small world this really is.

In 2007, our second son and his wife blessed us with a precious granddaughter. Shortly after her birth, they came to live with us. So at the age of 8 months old, our choice was to put her at Slattery where she would be safe, close at hand, and under the watchful eye of her aunt. Karen Slattery Preschool has been a blessing. Who knows, since FAU has education from birth to graduate studies, maybe she will be the first Doctor to receive all of her education from one school.

May of 2011 brought us the emotional experience, (for me anyway), to watch our youngest daughter cross the stage and graduate Magna Cum Laude from FAU. It somehow seemed appropriate that she graduated at the 100th graduation during the 50th year celebration of Florida Atlantic University. Who knew, that the new University my grandparents saw in its' infancy, would be the start of my daughter's future as a teacher. She begins teaching in August for Palm Beach County Schools.

My life journey has brought me here and I love it. Working at FAU is an interesting experience. My favorite thing to do is go outside at lunch, sit and watch. People are fascinating. Since we live where the weather is beautiful we have such diverse cultures here. It is the diversity which makes FAU so appealing to me. Even though I don't attend classed at FAU, I feel like I learn something daily just by being here.

Suzanne Reeves

August 2, 2011




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