Administrative assistant to chancellor retiring after 26 years

More than 100 family and friends of Sandie Williams turned out Dec. 8, for a celebration of her retirement as administrative assistant to the chancellor of Penn State New Kensington.

Williams, a campus employee for 26 years, served as an assistant to six chancellors. She officially retires from University service on Dec. 18.

"Sandie has the name at Penn State New Kensington name that is the most recognized by advisory board members, city mayors, county commissioners, campus faculty, staff, students and alumni, University Park administrators and staff, and local communities leaders than anyone," said Kevin Snider, chancellor of the campus. "As a staff member for half of the campus’ existence, she has been the constant, consistent and consummate campus face across six different administrations."

At the retirement celebration, held in the campus' Cafe 780, Williams was surrounded by her family, including sisters Pauletta, Mary and Penny; daughter and son-in-law Erin and Mark Winbush, and grandsons Devon and Jonathan.

Also at the gala were the six former campus chancellors that she worked under: Bob Arbuckle (1977-92); Roy Myers (1992-95); Catherine Gannon (1995-98); Carol Rush (1998-2002); Larry Pollock (2002-08); and Snider.

"When it comes to institutional memory, discretion, character and professionalism she has few equals in the Penn State system," Snider said. "I think the fact that every chancellor with whom she worked is here tonight to recognize how much she has meant to all of our successes."

The retiring administrative assistant was toasted, as well as roasted, by a parade of students, faculty, staff and alumni of Penn State, as well as leaders in the community and fellow campus staff.

Williams began her campus career in 1983 as a receptionist and switchboard operator. Arbuckle, the campus' longest serving leader, selected her in 1991 for the administrative assistant position in the Chancellor's office. Prior to joining the New Kensington staff, she was worked at Gulf Development and Research in Harmar, Pennsylvania.

Williams' retirement will allow her to spend more time with her family and to travel.

"On a personal note, she has become a true friend and valued confident for me," Snider concluded. "I am going to really miss her and I know that feeling is shared by so many who have been lucky enough to have her in their lives."

For more on Williams and photos of the retirement celebration, visit online.

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Last Updated January 10, 2015