It is with celebration and sadness that Suzy Metts has announced her plan to retire on Jan. 31, 2022. Suzy has been with Samford since 2003 and has made an enduring impact on the university. “She joined the School of the Arts as an administrative assistant to the dean in 2005 and has been a steady leader and servant throughout,” said Joe Hopkins, dean of the School of the Arts.
“Suzy’s contributions have been far beyond the expectations of administrative assistant, extending to extraordinary hospitality, strategic leadership, event management, and valued counsel to every member of this staff. We are grateful for how she has served Samford and thankful for who she is,” continued Hopkins.
Part mom to students and instigator of fun activities, Suzy will be missed. From making sure everyone dresses up for Halloween to encouraging students day in and day out, Suzy has enriched all of the lives around her.
Here’s what Suzy had to say about her time at Samford:
Can you share some reflections on your time at Samford?
I’ve been at Samford long enough to serve under three presidents, observe numerous new builds and renovations, survive a Snowmageddon and a Pandemic, and thrill over watching SOA students become SOA professors! I reluctantly came back into the work-force 18+ years ago only to realize that Samford University was the perfect place for me to be – providing exceedingly, abundantly more than I could ask or imagine!
What have you enjoyed about your job?
I have LOVED being a part of the SOA family! These crazy, quirky, artsy, LOUD, right-brained people are MY kind of people! Here I have made some of the best and longest-lasting friendships with faculty, staff and students! Here I have also been given the most wide-reaching mission field; for this I am the most grateful.
What will you miss the most?
This is hard to pinpoint…$2 Friday??!! LOL!! The impromptu, drop-by student conversations. The flash-mob singing and dancing as students walk past my office window. The beautiful, Dean’s award artwork that has graced my office walls each year. The wonderful theatre/dance/opera productions through the years. The early-morning or mid-afternoon coffee-conversations (my office has always been the Coffee Shop!). And how can I forget the faculty/staff pranks!
What will you miss the least?
My 2-hour commute each day!
What is your best Samford memory?
Again, too many to pinpoint but here are a few:
- When Joe Hopkins first came, his boys were quite young. They were small enough to hide under the two parson’s chairs I used to have in front of my desk! (Now they’re both taller than me!!)
- When my son, Josh, was a graphic design student here, on occasion he would come sit in my office. He said he didn’t need anything; he just wanted to sit. He found my office (and perhaps my presence) a safe, restful spot. There were other students through the years who felt the same way and would ask if they could just sit inside my office for a few minutes. I was thrilled to be a safe haven for them!
- One more story about Josh: One day he asked if we could go for a walk together. We walked a little way, then sat on one of the benches by Divinity and just talked. He told me how grateful he was for me working at Samford so that he could go to school here. He made sure I knew how much he loved and deeply appreciated his educational experience in the SOA at Samford University!
What do you think makes the School of the Arts special and why?
We are FAMILY and the love of God and each other is evident in everything we do! We also strive to be the best we can be in each of the SOA disciplines. I think we do a pretty good job at it too!
What are you looking forward to doing in retirement?
Spending more time with my family and getting more involved with my church. (The recent loss of my sister is the main reason for my retirement this year instead of two years from now.)
The School of the Arts will definitely miss Suzy and all that she has given to our community.