Together, they’ve chalked up nearly 70 years of service to MSU Denver. But Kate Lutrey, Randy Proctor and Debra Grove are starting a new chapter in their lives, and it’s called retirement.
Lutrey, director of student concierge services; Proctor, office manager for the Registrar; and Grove, administrative assistant III in the Scholarship Center, all worked under the enrollment management umbrella in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs.
Here’s a brief look at their careers:
In three decades at the University, in a variety of roles, Kate Lutrey has given a lot to the institution.
And received a lot in return, including a degree in journalism in 1988 and a well-attended retirement reception on Wednesday, June 27.
“I appreciate everything Metro has done for me. And I appreciate being able to give back to Metro…It changed my life.”
Lutrey was a single mother scraping to get by when she joined MSU Denver in 1982 as business manager of the student newspaper. She served as director of student media three different times.
“She was strong at troubleshooting for students with complaints or complicated situations. Her student mentoring and passion were evident, and her legacy and impact will be remembered for much time to come,” says Judi Diaz Bonacquisti, associate vice president for enrollment management.
Lutrey also was executive assistant to the vice president of student services. As concierge director, she set up the information desk in the Student Success Building.
Yolanda Ortega, former vice president for student services and now director of the Center for Urban Connections, calls Lutrey a “colleague, confidant and best buddy.”
“She truly carries students in her heart and has the respect and love of her colleagues,” Ortega says.
Lutrey, whose last day on the job was Friday, is sad about leaving but knows it’s the right time. “I’ve got to take care of myself,” she says. “I’ve got to make myself the priority.”
Records with integrity
On the eve of his retirement, Randy Proctor reflected on the importance of his work.
He managed the office that handles records that are central to a student’s life: registration, grades, tuition forms, CAPP reports and much more. And with the economic downturn, he fielded many requests for transcripts from job-seeking alumni.
“We have to keep those records so that they’re unquestionable and have some integrity to them,” he says. “That’s where I’ve always concentrated…People’s lives are hinged on these records.”
Proctor joined the University community 23 years ago. Other than a couple of years as a program assistant at the Center for Individualized Learning, he’s been with the Registrar’s Office.
He enters retirement with a bit of trepidation, but decided he needed to “take better care of myself.”
On Proctor’s last day at work on Friday, his colleagues hosted a retirement reception. “The vast knowledge Randy will take with him when he exits the doors of the Student Success Building on June 29 is irreplaceable,” Registrar Paula Martinez said last week. “He will be truly missed.”
Scholarships and a smile
Debra Grove joined the Office of Financial Aid in summer 1998 and served an integral role in the establishment of the Scholarship Center.
For the past 14 years, she administered students’ external scholarship awards and helped them search and obtain scholarships. Grove also worked closely with internal programs such as the College Assistance Migrant Program and TRiO Program in administering their student scholarships.
She served as the manager of the Scholarship Center Customer Service/Resource Lab and assisted countless students and parents with their scholarship, financial aid and loan applications.
It was satisfying, Grove says, to help students and families who might otherwise “give up” because of the financial red tape or their unfamiliarity with higher education.
“Debra was always willing to go the extra mile to be sure both students and parents did not get lost in the financial aid process,” says Michelle LeBoo, associate director of financial aid and scholarships. “She was always there with a smile and an ear for listening.”
With a personal library of 1,400 volumes, Grove intends to indulge her passion for research. The next topic on her to-do list: the folklore legends of the ancient peoples of the North Atlantic.
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