Before coming to TU in 1988, Sherry McKendry was a bit of a nomad. Always looking for the next adventure and always looking for interesting work, she never stayed at any one place for very long. By the time she retires this month, she’ll have worked at TU for nearly 30 years.
“Towson University became my anchor,” she says. “You come to a community here, not just a dry 9-5 job. Working with the folks here is delightful.”
Sherry tried several fields before finding her home as an administrative assistant in TU’s Office of Human Resources (OHR). She taught children, fundraised for the American Cancer Society and helped process admissions at Goucher College—she even owned a bar in New Jersey for six years. On her first day at TU, she may have not planned to stay until retirement, but she ended up doing that and much more. During her time here Sherry forged close friendships with people across campus and became a TU alumna.
“It’s been a great experience,” Sherry says. “Everyone’s so positive, which always keeps me motivated. I’ve developed close relationships as a student and full-time employee here, and there’s no question that I’ll still be in touch with my Towson friends.”
The warm feelings are mutual between Sherry and her colleagues. Phil Ross, OHR’s Associate Vice President, describes her as essential to OHR because of her friendliness and work ethic.
“Sherry’s been the glue for the department,” he says. “She’s a team player and always does what’s best for OHR. When we had an opening in Leave and Timekeeping, she picked up some of the slack and learned parts of the job—she didn’t have to do that; she wanted to.”
That’s who Sherry is—she wants to help and do well. She took extra writing courses while earning a degree in Mass Communications, and she used that experience to contribute to her office, even crafting posts for this very blog.
She not only helped OHR run more smoothly, but she made it more fun, too. Before Sherry, dressing up for Halloween at TU was uncommon. Now it’s encouraged.
“Gail Price, Dave Curtis and I always loved dressing up for Halloween,” she smiles. “We had fun with it for years. Eventually other OHR people joined, and now many people wear costumes.”
Sherry credits her relationships with Gail and Dave, and their Halloween fun, as some of her fondest TU memories.
Despite retiring this month, Sherry has no plans for slowing down. Instead of focusing her energy on helping OHR, she’ll focus it on volunteering (mostly for the Wounded Warriors project) and traveling. In 2017 alone she’ll take trips to U.S. National Parks, Key West and Germany.
Leave a memory of Sherry or a note for her in the comments below! We wish her well in retirement.
Written by Tyler New