Executive assistant to the president retires

Patricia Green, executive assistant to president Beck Taylor and board secretary, will be retiring on June 30 after working at Whitworth for almost 20 years. “It’s been my family. It’s been my community. It’s been my friends,” Green said, tearing up. “But it’s time.”

Ruth Pells, assistant to the dean of the school of education, will fill the position come June.

Over the past five years, Green’s role of executive assistant to the president and board secretary entailed arranging the president’s schedule, attending weekly cabinet and university council meetings as the minute recorder, coordinating the three Board of Trustee meetings that take place each year and sponsoring events in conjunction with Institutional Advancement department such as the president’s Leadership Forum.

“She’s absolutely been committed to making sure that everything that comes  out of my office—the office of the president—represents the quality that Whitworth aspires to whether that be correspondence or communication,” President Beck Taylor said.

Green also has a reputation in the president’s office as the life of the party.

“They always say that if there’s a party going on, Patti’s in the middle of it,” Green said.

Green has that reputation because she can’t hear people having fun outside her office without joining in, she said. She also has been known to prank her coworkers every so often.

“She’s funny. She loves a party,” Taylor said. “She keeps the mood light in our office and frankly that’s important because we’re dealing with difficult stuff sometimes.”

She is notorious for redecorating co-workers’ offices while they are away at a conference or gone for vacation. The person’s office whom she pranked the most was Tammy Reid’s who at the time was the chief academic officer, Green said.

In one instance Reid came back to a beauty parlor instead of an office.

“I had 50 bottles of fingernail polish, hair dryers, towels and shampoo all over her office, and a big banner that said ‘Welcome to Big Bill’s School of Cosmetology,’” Green said. “I told her we sold the university to an Asian group and they changed the name to that.”

Another time Reid came back to find her office covered in beach towels, lawn chairs and the home of a swimming pool, she said.

“The best one was [when] she came back and I borrowed Bill Robinson’s motor bike and it was in her office with leathers and Hog Tails,” Green said.

Green believes her sense of humor is one of the reasons she was hired in 1996, she said.

When retelling the story of her interview Green said, “One of the faculty on the hiring committee asked me if I had a sense of humor and this is what I said: ‘I am one of the funniest people I know.’ And he laughed and I asked if he had a sense of humor and everybody laughed.”

Another reason Green landed the job may have been due to her experience working at Seattle Pacific University and the other administrative positions she worked at while her husband worked as a pastor, she said.

“I was a person that wanted to try different things,” Green said.  “So my husband would take a new church and I would say ‘I think I’m going to go to work and I want to work at a law firm’ and pretty soon I’m working in a law firm. And then, ‘No I think I’m going to work in a hospital’ and then pretty soon I’m working for the administrator.”

Her favorite jobs, however, have been in higher education, she said.

“I love working in an environment where people are always learning and there are always wonderful conversations,” Green said. “You can walk into a conversation and feel like you can participate and learn something.”

Green loves working at Whitworth because of the school’s mission to provide a mind and heart education, she said.

“I love that we have this mix of great students who some have faith and some don’t and we’re all on this journey together and we find out how to work that through together,” Green said.

Another reason Green loves Whitworth is the wonderful faculty, she said.

“I have so many friends here. They’ve been dear friends and I’ve had so many connections with them,” she said.

“I’ve tried to, wherever I’ve been, make it feel like it’s my ministry—like I’m contributing something,” Green said. “I don’t want to go to a place and just take from people. I want to contribute- I want to make it better.”

She said she feels she has achieved that goal at Whitworth.

“We’re a very very close team and that’s what’s going to be so hard to leave,” Green said.

 

Hayley O’Brien

Staff Writer

Contact Hayley O’Brien at

hobrien17@my.whitworth.edu

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