On Friday, May 15, 2020, faculty and staff joined together to celebrate the decades of service Gloria Murray brought to the Economics department. In toast after toast, we heard of a dedicated and efficient administrator, a calm and welcoming voice for those arriving from overseas, an unflappable demeanor, and the beating heart of the Economics Department. The department also interviewed Gloria for their weekly departmental newsletter:
Most people here know you as an Administrator in the Economics Department. What did you do before arriving in Economics?
Gloria: I was a sr. administrative secretary and later a program coordinator while completing my BS in speech-language pathology at Sargent College and a Masters degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at the School of Education (now Wheelock College of Education and Human Development).
What is one of your favorite Boston University memories?
Collegiality, Diversity and Education. I really enjoyed the feeling that I was part of a team here and I really enjoyed the richness of our department—the diversity of our students, faculty, and staff—and how it makes this department such a lively and interesting place to be.
It’s why I stayed here. Graduating from Boston University is a mountain top memory and one I share with two of our children who also earned degrees here.
What has been the most challenging part of your job?
Leaving the office on time. It has always been hard to stop what I was doing when it was time to go.
What is a passion of yours?
My husband and I have been hosting Fellows in the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program for 24 years and it has been a real joy. The Fellows are young and mid-career professionals from designated countries undergoing development or political transition who come to enrich their professional development. We have made some wonderful friendships with amazing Fellows. As hosts we meet with our Fellow for holidays, special events and sometimes just to go out for coffee and conversation. This has been a source of great joy for us. When we moved to Braintree in 1984, the same year I started working at Boston University, we dedicated our home and prayed that it would be a place to bless people’s lives; a place to share friendship and to meet needs. And being part of the Humphrey Program has been one of the answers to that prayer.
How has your job changed in the past 30 years?
When I started work at Metropolitan College, I worked on an electric typewriter. We did not have voice messaging on our phones and we didn’t have cell phones, there was no scanning capability on our photocopier and certainly no port for a USB drive. Today I don’t need to leave my office to deliver a memo or a project because of the technology that gets taken for granted by many. But I certainly remember those early days.
You are retiring this month. What are you looking forward to the most?
My husband and I traveled to France three summers ago fulfilling one of two BIG items on my bucket list since high school. Now, it’s time for us to travel to Vietnam to visit three of our Humphrey Fellows and for my husband to visit places he knew from his time in the US Air Force in the 1960’s. And we plan to take that trip, just as soon as there is a vaccine for COVID-19.