‘Steady hand we all needed’: Hayden retires


Martha Hoffman

After more than 30 years at IVCC, Jeanne Hayden, executive assistant to the president, is retiring in December.

Martha Hoffman, Editor-In-Chief

From student to staff member, Jeanne Hayden has spent over three decades at IVCC.

Hayden is retiring in December after 21 years as executive assistant to the president

It all started when she came to IVCC to study secretarial science, attending classes in the temporary buildings located on the east campus that were used before the main campus was built in 1972. There were buildings for different services, with separate buildings for the library, classrooms, and student center.

Hayden said the student center was full of smoke, so she didn’t spend much time there. “If you wanted to get in on a euchre game, there was always a euchre game going,” she said.

There was limited room for students on campus. “We didn’t stick around much,” said Hayden. Student groups met off campus, like the business honor society Phi Beta Lambda that Hayden was a member of.

She graduated in two years with an Associate of Applied Science degree and began working at IVCC as secretary to the Director of Admissions. Next she served as secretary for the Dean of Instruction.

Then Hayden took a break from full-time work, staying home to raise her young children. She explained that in those days, few women worked full time when raising a family. Looking back, she does not regret her decision.

She would often prepare the course catalog on a typewriter while at home.

In the mid 1980s, when her youngest child was in third grade, she started working part time at IVCC. “They moved me around. I worked in continuing education and in the Foundation.”

In 1996, she was chosen as executive assistant for the president, the position she has held for president Jean Goodnow, interim presidents Charles Novak and David Louis, and now with Dr. Jerry Corcoran.

She has found her job interesting. “Organization is something I really like,” Hayden said. “The Board members change, and they have different personalities, and you learn a lot from different personalities.”

Her position has allowed her to make things run smoothly, sometimes without people even knowing what she is doing. “I like working behind the scenes,” she said. “I don’t like being in the spotlight.”

Some things have changed over the years. “Technology is probably the biggest change in my job,” Hayden said. “Obviously with any change, the older you get the harder it is. I haven’t had trouble accepting new programs.”

However, looking back on the days when everything was done painstakingly by hand or on the typewriter, she says, “I’m glad we are where we are.”

After her many years of service, she decided it was time to retire. “At first I was nervous about retiring, and anxious too,” she said.

After she got used to the idea, she realized it was the right thing to do. “I have lots of hobbies, and it’s hard to find time for them when you’re working full time,” Hayden said. “I’m excited to pick them up, find new hobbies, travel with my husband, and spend quality time with my grandchildren.”

She said she wants to teach her grandchildren useful things they are interested in, like knitting, sewing, and quilting. She also wants to find volunteer work where she can help people.

“I’ll have no problem finding things to do,” she commented with a smile.

While retirement is going to be good, Hayden says, “I will miss the people—everyone at IVCC is so helpful and friendly. I’ll miss them, but they’ll always be in my thoughts.”

Hayden is training her replacement, Judy Day who is a longtime assistant to Vice President for Academic Affairs Deborah Anderson.

“We spend about one hour every day going over stuff, so it will be a smooth transition. Judy will be great,” Hayden said confidently.

It helps to have a person take over who already knows the organization of things and the people at IVCC.

“It makes it easier for me,” Hayden said.

IVCC President Jerry Corcoran echoes those words of support for Day.

“The bottom line is I’m very confident in saying that every member of our faculty, support staff and administration who has had the pleasure of working with Judy Day knows that she’ll do a fabulous job,” he said.

Corcoran shared that Hayden won the 2012 ICCTA Professional Board Staff Member Award. In his 27 years working at the college in various capacities, Corcoran has seen firsthand Hayden’s many contributions to the college.

“Jeanne Hayden was always the steady hand we all needed to help steer the IVCC ‘ship’ toward its destination when carrying out the college’s mission of teaching those who seek and being enriched by those who learn,” he said.

IVCC Board of Trustee President Jane Goetz was elected in 2013 and started working closely with Hayden.

“Jeanne is so organized,” Goetz said. “No detail is too small for her to carefully consider and prepare. She is respectful to everyone and has a smile that always welcomes you in the room.

“I am so appreciative of all she done. I wish her a blessed retirement with her family.”