Afterwords

  • Len portrait

Afterwords

You should meet Lem

By Patricia Quigley ’78, M’03

 

If you show up on the Hollybush side of campus, you may have crossed Lem’s path. He mans the guard gate at the entrance to Lot P off Whitney Avenue. If you’ve attended a class in Bunce, a meeting in Bole, a performance in Tohill or a baseball game near Bozorth, no doubt you already have met him.

Lem is one of the best PR people for Rowan. Trust me: I’m a two-time alum of the University who happens to work here in, well, PR. Sometime a few decades ago, I’m sure—in between survey research and PR planning—Tony Fulginiti or Larry Litwin or one of the Dons (Bagin and Gallagher), told those of us studying public relations that manners matter. And kindness. And personality.

Lem’s got a whole bunch of all of that. He’s a seasoned gentleman and gentle man, with salt-and-pepper hair, a natural grin and a ready greeting. He’ll usher you into the parking lot with a wave or, on some days when you are not rushing too much, with a few words that go with a thoughtful look or a warm smile.

“How’s that leg? Are you walking better?” He wanted updates many a time after I tore the meniscus in my right knee.

“Your mother, does she still drive? Really?” He’ll check on my family periodically.

I know I’m not special in this case. Lem is a gracious soul who as best I can tell extends kindnesses to everyone. As one of the first people some of our guests meet when they arrive at Rowan, he couldn’t be a better face for our University.

You’ll find a lot of people like that around here. No, not everyone. No place is quite that good. Everyone has a bad day once in a while. And, truth be told, some people are just not friendly by nature.

But after being away from my Glassboro “home” for two decades more or less, I’ve been at Rowan 20 years now as an employee. I still remember being amazed during my first few months at work by how many strangers would greet me as I walked from Bole to the Student Center and elsewhere. I knew then I had stumbled on a unique place to work. And by and large, I still feel the same way.

I trust my coworkers feel that way, too. Even more important, I hope our students sense this. I hope they know their professors will go out of their way for them, that staff will extend themselves as best they can.

I hope, too, our guests—whether people whose names regularly appear in the newspaper or people with little claim to fame—feel at home when they come to any of our campuses.
And I hope our alumni not only feel welcome but also carry a sense of pride about what I call the “Rowan spirit.” We talk about that “spirit” including vision and grit and determination. I like to think it also includes friendliness and a sense of family.

We’ve been going through a lot of changes and growth at Rowan during the past few years, including becoming home to two medical schools, developing the West Campus, Rowan Boulevard and the Jean and Ric Edelman Fossil Park. Our enrollment and graduation stats increase every year. We anticipate a lot more changes: more programs, more buildings, more responsibility, more influence.

Growth can be exhilarating, and it can be scary. But so far, so good: I think we still have the feel of
the college I started working at 20 years ago and first attended in....well, you do the math.

I think people still know each other by name or face for the most part. I know they are always ready to lend a hand.

If they have any doubts, I have a suggestion: They should go meet Lem. ♦

 


Patricia Quigley is an assistant director of Media & Public Relations at Rowan University. She is very fond of friendly people and finding a good parking space.