There are two employees who have served at Towson University for more than 40 years, and Polley Adams is one of them. Polley started working on campus in 1969, when the university we know today was called Towson State College and had an undergraduate population of less than 5,000 students. Over the subsequent decades, Polley has seen tremendous change on campus—and not just in enrollment numbers.
“There used to be a road that went through the middle of campus,” Polley said. “The library had just been built; most of the buildings you see around today weren’t here.”
Polley was hired at TU fresh out of high school. She was just 17 years old and applied for a position that required her to shelve books in the library. Over time, she worked her way up, first supervising the micromedia area of the library where patrons looked at microfilm and listened to records. Eventually CDs began to work their way into the collection as well. But it wasn’t until 1978, when the library received its first computer system, that Polley found her true calling at TU.
After working with TU’s computer system, Polley became hooked on technology. She had a front row view of the university’s evolution with technology and watched with excitement as we moved into the “smart classroom” era of today. When a spot opened up for manager of classroom technology, Polley was the perfect candidate; she had worked with the growing classroom technology from records and microfilm to videos and cassettes to high definition projectors and SmartPads.
“I work with faculty closely on classroom projects,” Polley said. “I love it, it’s very gratifying.”
As manager of classroom technology, Polley aids the university’s constant need to change and update technology in classrooms. Most of the projects Polley receives are new technology orders, software updates or part replacements such as a new bulb for a projector. Projects may require an entire technological renovation, such as the newly designed and renovated Lecture Hall in Van Bokkelen Hall. Some projects may only require the installation of basic projectors or computers; others may require a completely new classroom technology.
“The College of Education is requesting interactive SmartBoards for their students,” Polley said. “It’s what the teachers in the real world are using, so the department wants its students to gain experience with that technology.”
With the constant evolution of the campus and the technology with which she works, Polley has witnessed more than her fair share of changes on campus. She said it’s the culture of growth, combined with the positive atmosphere at the university that has kept her here for 42 years.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time here,” Polley said. “I’ve met a lot of great people; the people are what have kept me here.”