As a UCCS student in the mid-1970s, Lee Noble remembers watching students ride horses to class.
Now, on the eve of her retirement from the university after 31 years service in the Office of Financial Aid, Noble can hardly believe the transformation from horseback to a state-of-the-art Science and Engineering Building, on-campus housing and more than 8,000 students.
“Let’s just say it’s been quite a ride,” Noble said this week, her last in the Office of Student Financial Aid and where she began her career as a student employee for the princely sum of $3.25 an hour.
Noble, as a UCCS student, served as student body president and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. As a graduate student in sociology, she worked as a teaching assistant. But it was the part-time job in financial aid where Noble found her niche. She served as associate director for six years before being named director in 1984. Along the way, she held numerous positions in staff governance organizations and earned a reputation for effective leadership.
What’s in store for someone who spent a total of 38 years on campus?
“Post-retirement, I plan to work on myself and see what the next adventure will be,” Noble said. “I imagine it will entail service, as that has been my passion. I want to thank all of my colleagues – past and present – for their part in making this a wonderful career. And to students, you have been the motivation for all of the toil. You are worth it. I believe higher education changes lives for the better and I admire the effort it takes for them to fulfill their dreams.”
A search to replace Noble is underway. Three finalists interviewed on campus this week. They are Mark Hoffman, associate director, Student Financial Aid and Student Employment, Kent McGowan, director, Office of Financial Aid, Buffalo (N.Y.) State College, and Robert Bode, director, Office of Financial Aid, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minn. A selection is expected by mid-November, according to Sue Mitchell, director, Student Success, and search committee co-chair.