William & Mary

Ladnier's double duty

Chris Ladnier by Stephen Salpukas.If not a familiar face on campus, staff member Chris Ladnier is certainly a familiar voice. Since 1994, Ladnier has been a mainstay in William and Mary’s Office of Student Affairs. But in addition to her “9 to 5” duties as office manager, she also serves as a part-time dispatcher for the William and Mary Police Department.

Ladnier started with the police department as a way to pick-up additional income when her oldest child entered college, she said. While life rolled on her temporary stint turned into something more. Another child went off to school. Then came a wedding and private school for a younger child. While the extra money has been helpful, she explained, it’s the joy she finds in the work that keeps her at her post.

“I enjoy the heck out of it,” she remarked.

Ladnier came to the College in 1993. Her first position was in the development office working with the Endowment Association (now the William and Mary Foundation). A year later, she went to student affairs where she is usually the first person students -- and their parents – come into contact with when they call or visit the office in the Campus Center.

But Ladnier says as a dispatcher she interacts with students in a different way.

“I connect in so many ways with students. I get to see the campus from a difference side. It puts the campus in a different light,” she added.

While Ladnier enjoys working dispatch, she noted it is not always fun. Ladnier routinely works two or three shifts a week – mostly weekends. She recounted a report of a missing child from a wedding one weekend, an older gentleman with Alzheimer’s who wandered off from an event and a report of a stolen vehicle in progress.

But she says the stressful moments are few and far between and “I never say I don’t want to go to work,” she added.

The joys, she continued, definitely outweigh the challenges.. No two days are alike, she said, and in the dispatcher’s office, “You see a lot of different things.”

Ladnier says she’s been impressed with the officers and how much they really care about the students at the College. A fact she feels most students really don’t appreciate, noting she doesn’t think most students understand how much the officers do to try and help them out.

“It’s like totally different from what I do [in student affairs],” Ladnier added. “I call it my hobby job – I guess it’s my paid hobby job.”