Nine celebrate 35 years of service to W&M

  • James AchesonAcheson came to William & Mary almost 36 years ago and serves as operations shift supervisor at the College's Power Plant building near Trinkle Hall.

    Photo by Brian Whitson

    James Acheson
  • Sylvia ColstonColston knows a lot about William & Mary. She's dedicated the last 35 years to the college, working for six university presidents in just as many buildings.

    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

    Sylvia Colston
  • Marion DoverDover will tell you she has more than 5,000 children -- three of her own and the thousands of students that cross the threshold of the Commons Dining Hall each and every semester.

    Photo by Suzanne Seurattan

    Marion Dover
  • Dan EwartEwart, who earned his undergraduate and master's degrees at the College, works as a computer systems engineer for information technology.

    Photo by Erin Zagursky

    Dan Ewart
  • Donnie HowardAs a Buildings & Grounds Supervisor for Facilities Maintenance, Howard is in charge of a maintenance team of nine individuals who take care of plumbing, electrical work and carpentry in all of the buildings across campus.

    Photo by Brian Whitson

    Donnie Howard
  • Glendora JamesJames is a library specialist in the Swem Library where she is responsible for cataloging and processing books.

    Photo by Erin Zagursky

    Glendora James
  • Mike MarrsMarrs, who works in Facilities Maintenance, is the chief electrician at William & Mary.

    Photo by Brian Whitson

    Mike Marrs
  • Louise MengesMenges is a laboratory specialist senior with the College's chemistry department.

    Photo by Erin Zagursky

    Louise Menges
  • Paul TidwellTidwell, who works in Facilities Maintenance as the College's master mechanic, is here to handle nearly all of William & Mary's maintenance issues that occur during evening and night hours.

    Photo by Brian Whitson

    Paul Tidwell

Nine employees at the College of William and Mary will be marking 35 years of service Friday during Employee Appreciation Day. Those employees are: James Acheson, Sylvia Colston, Marion Dover, Dan Ewart, Donnie Howard, Glendora James, Mike Marrs, Louise Menges and Paul Tidwell. - Ed.

James Acheson

Acheson came to William & Mary almost 36 years ago and serves as operations shift supervisor at the College's Power Plant building near Trinkle Hall. The job of those at the Power Plant, Acheson said, is essential - providing heat and hot water for the thousands of students across campus. Like his colleagues in Facilities Maintenance, Acheson says his favorite part of the job is the people.
"It's all about the students," Acheson said. "I enjoy my job because I know that we are providing an essential service to the students during their stay at the College. It's a good place to work."

(Back to the top)

Sylvia Colston

Colston knows a lot about William & Mary. She‘s dedicated the last 35 years to the college, working for six university presidents in just as many buildings. Oh, does she have some stories to tell. Some of her favorites involve her colleagues.

"I met a lot of my good, best friends here at the college," she said. "Jackie Bell (registrar's office, ret.) was one of them, and it's been a lasting relationship.  And some friends I've met, that didn't stay as long as I did - they've moved on - and we're still friends."

In addition to the friendships, Colston has enjoyed the education.

"I've learned how to use a whole lot of equipment. I really have enjoyed it."

Colston's a big fan of technology. There was a time, she said, when she typed every name in the Commencement Program. Computers have streamlined the process. Colston, who is currently a graphic designer in the publications department, has also been a secretary, a typesetter, cold type compositor - one of the first in the state - and graphic artist at the college. Today her responsibilities include the layout of, among many, class catalogues, departmental newsletters and the Commencement Program.

During her interview, Colston noticed colleague Sylvia Stout would be celebrating her 40th anniversary with the College.

"I guess Sylvias come around and stay a long time, don't they," she said smiling.

(Back to the top)


Marion Dover

Dover will tell you she has more than 5,000 children - three of her own and the thousands of students  that cross the threshold of the Commons Dining Hall each and every semester.

“The kids are like family. They are just my babies,” she said. “I get a thrill out of them.”

Dover greets her “kids” every week morning for breakfast. Many, she calls by name.

“I love greeting the students,” she said. “You can always find me around the grill.”

She’s been there, around the grill, for the last 35 years. Dover says the years have flown by.

“It doesn't seem that long to me. I love what I’m doing.”

She credits her supervisor Lawrence Smith with creating a great working environment.

“His associates are like family. You couldn’t work for a more loving and respectable person. I think highly of him.”

Loyalty to the College runs in Dover’s family. Each of her eight brothers and sisters has worked for the university at some point in their careers.  Older brother Lawrence Charity has already celebrated his 45th anniversary here.

Dover herself shows no signs of slowing down. Even though the students just left for the summer break, she says she’s already looking forward to August when they return…nothing like a mother’s love.

(Back to the top)


Dan Ewart

Ewart, who earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees at the College, works as a computer systems engineer for information technology. Among his duties, he supports the Unix servers that provide the Banner environment. For many years, he has also supported the IBM Mainframe system at the College, which will shut down at the end of June. “So there is some flurry of activity to get ready for that,” he said.

Ewart said he enjoys “writing and maintaining scripts to help automate Banner processing, working with the Unix operating system, and working with a good team of engineers here in IT.”

Ewart, who met his wife at William & Mary when they were both undergraduates, has stayed at the College for so many years in part because of “the opportunity to learn many different computer systems and languages, and work with current technology,” he said. “It is never dull. I have enjoyed working with many different types of computer systems over the years, as the College moved from one environment to another. I'm fortunate to live nearby, and the beautiful campus does not hurt either. Working with good people is a big plus.”

(Back to the top)


Donnie Howard

As a Buildings & Grounds Supervisor for Facilities Maintenance, Howard is in charge of a maintenance team of nine individuals who take care of plumbing, electrical work and carpentry in all of the buildings across campus. That includes everything from taking care of circuit breakers and changing light bulbs to installing new plumbing fixtures. They respond, Howard said, to anywhere from 10 to 60 calls a day.

“We take care of all 111 buildings,” Howard said. “We stay quite busy.”

Howard came to William & Mary 35 years ago as a carpenter’s helper.

“I really enjoy the people I work with and the people we work for,” Howard said. “In general, everyone is very appreciative of the work we do for them.”

(Back to the top)


Glendora James

James is a library specialist in the Swem Library where she is responsible for cataloging and processing books.

“Anything that goes out of the library for one reason or another, I’ve touched it,” she said.

She started out as a clerk typist when the library still used a card catalog system and has served in various cataloging roles with the library since. James, a mother and grandmother, said that part of what has kept her at William & Mary for 35 years has been the benefits and the ability to have a flexible schedule. She also said her coworkers have been a huge part of why she has stayed.

“A lot of us have been here for a long time, like family,” she said.

James said she also enjoys getting the first look at all of the new books that come through the library.

“I find myself sticking my name in books (to reserve them), and then I have a ton of books, and I’m saying I don’t have time to read this,” she said.

(Back to the top)


Mike Marrs

Marrs, who works in Facilities Maintenance, is the chief electrician at William & Mary. Some of his responsibilities include administering the maintenance and inspection contracts for the elevators and generators on campus, as well as locating the underground utilities for "miss utility." He also performs the technical inspections for the new electrical installations, and maintains both the street lights and e-phones at the College.

"I enjoy working with everyone here at the College, it's like a big family," Marrs said. "My job takes me all over the campus every day, so it's like having a different job daily."

Marrs kidded that he only has one regret about his time at the College. "If I had just taken one class a year ... I may have graduated in 35 years."

(Back to the top)


Louise Menges

Menges is a laboratory specialist senior with the College’s chemistry department. In that role, she is responsible for preparing, maintaining and ordering for three upper-level chemistry laboratory courses. She also produces and illustrates the department’s yearly alumni newsletter and the student lab manuals that are sold in the College’s bookstore for eight chemistry lab courses.

Menges said that she also appreciates how working in the chemistry department means the opportunity to learn something new every day. “I like chemists, too -- I've worked with chemists for 47 years now,” she said.

“My faculty and staff coworkers are a wonderful bunch of people and have become good friends, and the academic environment is a very nice one to work in,” said Menges. “I look forward to going to work every day. Okay, maybe not every day, but almost!”

(Back to the top)


Paul Tidwell

Tidwell, who works in Facilities Maintenance as the College's master mechanic, is here to handle nearly all of William & Mary's maintenance issues that occur during evening and night hours. For the past 15 or 16 years, Tidwell has worked Wednesday through Sunday from 2 p.m. until midnight. He also takes care of the College's street lights, e-phones and generators.

"I take care of any maintenance call that comes to the College," said Tidwell, who spent his first 20 or so years at William & Mary as a plumber. He said his most rewarding part of the job is the people at the College.

"I intermingle with the president on down," Tidwell said. "I just enjoy what I'm doing."

(Back to the top)