MSFAA Memory Part I - Shared by L. Glenn O’Kray

Thursday, November 09, 2017 9:31 AM | Anonymous

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.”

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  • Thursday, November 09, 2017 6:54 PM | Denise Daniel
    I still have 2 "Financial Aid Officers Need Analysis" shirts, though the yellow one is getting pretty worn. Of course, that was not our first T-shirt, but I think it had the best slogan. Every so often, I like to get out the one that was done in camouflage because we're still having to fight every day for our students!

    I'm trying to remember if it was our 25th anniversary when Anne Watson (director at University of Detroit/Detroit Mercy) went through old photos and memorabilia for a presentation at that dinner. We used an overhead projector and one of those old projectors that could project images from paper or cardboard because we couldn't get copies on transparencies. What a change in technology!

    Starting in financial aid in 1977, I was lucky to have the "old pros" like Pete Roddy and Anne Watson to learn from, and to work with so many colleagues from other institutions on conferences and other committees. I was on the Communications committee when Glenn (O'Kray) was chair and we decided to make the MSFAA Newsletter a monthly that year (around 1989). Of course, this was before we had much in the way of word processing and basically nothing as far as desktop publishing, so sometimes I sent out two months' issues at the same time. But we were the only ones ever to do 12 issues in a year!
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    • Friday, November 10, 2017 10:10 AM | Anonymous
      I love hearing all these memories! Thank you for sharing Denise!

      I truly believe we need to bring back the "Financial Aid Officers Need Analysis" shirts.
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