July 23, 2024

After 26 years, Verna Lauritsen retires

This archived article was written by: Nick Critchlow

With many sad good-byes, CEU bids farewell to one of the most dedicated members of their staff.
Earlier this year, housing director assistant, Verna Lauritsen announced her retirement from CEU and worked until the third week of school to help with the transition of the new academic year. Since 1979, Lauritsen provided over 26 years of service and became a monument to the campus.
Prior to becoming the administrative assistant to the dean of student life, Lauritsen started working in the library. “I needed the work, to sublimate an income, and to raise my five children,” says Lauritsen. Following, she became a secretary for Ralph Vanderlinden, who advised the counseling center. Shortly afterward, Vanderlinden became the dean of students. When Vanderlinden moved to a new position, Lauritsen followed him and became the assistant to the dean of students. When Vanderlinden left CEU to become a psychologist for the Gunnison prison, she stayed in her position for 21-22 years, and worked for four deans.
Lauritsen has also worked for the auxiliaries and housing department. Lauritsen has had many wonderful experiences at CEU, “My only worst experience is when they changed the computer programming.”
Over the years, Lauritsen has been the frontline for the dean of students. Since CEU opened the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center, she has been the person in charge of scheduling all of the facilities, keeping down conflicts and managing the ranks of people who call to rent the facility. Laurtisen was the first line of contact for all the students in student housing and residence halls. “Her biggest job was to keep the dean of students out of trouble,” says Brad King. “She has done her job with pizazz and grace”.
Other members of the CEU staff expressed their feelings towards Lauritsen. “We definitely need someone in her place, because she plays a very important role here, she will be deeply missed”, quoted academic advisor Shanny Wilson.
Academic Advisor Darlene Severeid says, “It is going to be hard not having her around to work with, she was one of the nicest, most accommodating people on campus. She would do everything possible to help not only students but also staff and faculty”.
As Lauritsen ends her work at CEU she believes that life will be much different. “The people here have been fabulous to work with, life off the job will also be great. I will have time to get more things done.” Verna Lauritsen began her retirement on Sept. 1, 2005.