Even though I did not have any experience in financial aid, I was made director of financial aid and placement at Henry Ford Community College in 1972. I was quite unsure of myself. I became involved in MSFAA if only to save my job! My first contact, Dick Johnson of Mott Community College, became my mentor. I called him whenever a problem arose. I used to say, “The only thing that matters is getting a clean audit.” And my MSFAA colleagues helped make that happen.
I became heavily involved in professional activities as the result of an accident of fate. The officers from Region V were meeting monthly at the home of Gladys Rappoport, the director at Oakland University. It was probably in 1974, and one of those present, Mike Carty, said he could no longer chair a committee hosting MASFAA’s annual meeting at the Hyatt Hotel in Dearborn. His school was RETS, and it had been broken into and the situation was disastrous. I was appointed the chair of the host committee. Our theme was, “Better Ideas in Ford Country.”
That got me in touch with a broad range of financial aid folks throughout the state. I used to brag to my kids that I knew somebody from every college in the state. I cherish many memories. I will share some of them.
We used to play a game called “bite the bag.” You would start out with a paper grocery bag and all who wanted to participate would pick up the bag with their teeth. Then the top of the bag would be cut off, and this would continue until there was just a small piece of brown paper on the floor. Henry Dykema, the now deceased director from MSU, showed us all up by taking out his false teeth and picking up the bag!
I was chair of the professional development committee when we chose a resort rather than a college for our summer meetings, the first being at Shanty Creek. Not surprisingly, attendance immediately jumped by 50%! Our committee came up with, I believe, the first MSFAA T-shirt emblazoned with, “Financial Aid Officers Need Analysis.”
Create new memories by registering for winter conference today!