Her smiling face, a brain teeming with the facts and network of Fort Lewis College and a genuinely giving personality
are all reasons Peggy Sharp will be remembered when she retires at the end of June after three decades at the
school, 24 of those years as the executive assistant to the president.
On April 4, more than 200 people filled the Ballroom at the College Union Building for a big thank-you party for all
of her contributions. The event was organized by FLC President Brad Bartel, Maurine Mo" Liddard and
The whole party was planned around Sharp's predilections. The flower of the day was the sunflower, her favorite, including a small bouquet by the guest book, a larger bouquet by the lectern and sunflowers and candles as
centerpieces on the tables. Sodexho Catering prepared a bunch of goodies, including Sharp's favorite cake, white with
raspberry filling and buttercream icing.
An 8-foot banner hanging behind the lectern read: A grateful Fort Lewis Community thanks Peggy Sharp for 30 years of
dedication, loyalty and letting us be part of her life" on a background of sunflowers and the FLC logo. Big screens
on both sides of the stage played slideshows of Sharp from throughout her life, along with pictures with friends and
co-workers, including Bartel, Provost Steve Roderick and Vice Presidents Steve Schwartz and Glenna
Sexton as well as any new buildings constructed on campus during her time there.
A list of all the major events that have happened at FLC during her tenure is the story of the school itself. The
dismantling of the water tower, the invitation to the Ku Klux Klan Grand Master to speak on campus, the collapse of
the Fine Arts Building, the measles quarantine and all of the awards she has won over the years; it's quite a saga.
After the upcoming May 1, 2010, commencement ceremony, Sharp will have been involved in 48 such ceremonies.
The affair was emceed by Bartel, and speakers included Roderick, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Richard
Ballantine, Board of Trustees member Peter Decker, former FLC President Joel Jones and Stephanie
Sage, who began working for Sharp as a freshman at the college and stayed on after graduation.
Letters of tribute and congratulations came from J.R. Smith, former FLC athletic director and now the director
of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Jeremy Gunn, former national championship men's soccer coach and
former FLC President Kendall Blanchard.
Bartel invited Sharp's best friends to the stage and was inundated with about 20 people, many of whom had great
stories to share about the honoree. One was from Jill Langoni, who grew up about 30 miles from where Sharp did
in Iowa, but they didn't meet and become close friends until and Langoni and her husband, Dick, moved to
The speech that brought the most tears was from Sharp herself, who spoke movingly about the years and the sacrifices
she and her family had made, but how the people she worked with made it all worthwhile and how much she loves this
college. She received a standing ovation.
Her farewell gift is something she will hopefully put into use sooner rather than later - a passport" made by
Judy Johnson containing funds collected by faculty, staff, former co-workers and friends - to be used by Sharp
and a friend for a trip somewhere special after her last day on staff.
Sharp was always the person I called when I wasn't sure where to go for certain information, the one who did the
follow up and made sure things happened. The loss of her institutional memory is huge for the college, but even
greater are Sharp's many contributions over the last 30 years.
I'm sorry incoming President Dene Thomas won't have Sharp's wisdom and support as she transitions into the
Here's wishing Sharp a rich and enriching retirement, and a big thank you for all of her contributions.
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Getting help from rain showers to douse their birthday candles are Dorothy Gore, Liz Callard, Doris
Higgins, Jill Wark, Jeannette Johansen, Kyle Houle, Rileigh Leininger, Jean
Pearthree, Ashlee Hermesman, Caleb Johnson, Bob McKay, Taleya Delaney-Dye, Norm
Goldman, Ronda Conrad and Jean May.
Belated greetings go to Esther Pridemore, Tanya Mayberry, George Mayberry, Ron Stockton
and Joe T. Silva, all of whom celebrated their big day on Friday.
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I forgot to celebrate National Library Week last week, and I don't want to be remiss again this week by forgetting to
mention National Volunteers Week, which might be Durango's week, considering how many volunteers we have per capita.
The staff of the Durango Public Library decided to merge the two and honor the half dozen stalwart volunteers who
work in the library with a brunch, which they will hold Thursday.
Some of the volunteers help reshelve books, and one dedicated soul is a professional and has averaged about 10 hours
a week since moving to Durango in 1999.
Even before her household goods arrived, Lynn Hardy stepped through the library's front door and volunteered.
She progressed quickly from keeping the periodicals in order to assisting staff with processing in new books, and
there she has stayed.
As both a child of a single parent and a military wife, Hardy moved frequently, and at each new location, the library
was the first stop. Libraries were her comfort zone, and each library made her feel at home.
While Hardy was volunteering the library in small, historic Castroville, Texas, 20 miles west of San Antonio, the
librarian position opened up. She applied and got it. For the next 20 years, she was a librarian. Small libraries are
run" by volunteers, Hardy says, and through working with a Friends of the Library group in Castroville, she has a
strong appreciation for all volunteers.
In the meantime, just as has happened at every department in the city, the Durango Public Library has been hit by
budget cuts, and the Friends of the Library has picked up several responsibilities that have traditionally been paid
for by taxpayers.
So the big book sale, the Friends' largest fundraiser of the year, is more important than ever. And this is the
weekend for booklovers of every ilk and type. Whether you're looking for mysteries or science fiction, history or
literature, cookbooks or art books, books in foreign languages - the Friends' sale has two storage sheds' full of
The Friends' annual meeting will take place at 5:45 p.m. Friday at the library, with the members-only book sale
beginning after the meeting and continuing until 9 p.m. You can become a member Friday night or by filling out a
membership card (available in the lobby) and turning your money into the Friends' bookstore when it's open or at the
information desk when it's not.
On Saturday, the program-room doors will be thrown open to the general public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with most books
going for $1.50 a pound. (Some may be cheaper, and some others may be more expensive, but they're all a deal). This
is a book lover's extravaganza par excellence.
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Dancing in the rain for their anniversaries are Steve and Marti Kiely, Shawn and Stacey
Sullwold and John and Kathryn Ogier.
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For information about upcoming events and fundraisers, check Local Briefs.
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