A Fond Farewell
Staff Writer: Monet Timmons
13 Oct. 2017
Faculty, students, and staff gathered in Kemp Malone on Monday afternoon to celebrate the retirement of one special woman who has contributed to the English department for over two decades: Gerri Moreland. Tears filled the eyes of individuals who have known Gerri since the beginning of their work and undergraduate careers. Close friends showered Gerri with gifts and shared some of their favorite memories with her.
"I remember talking with her and feeling so at home," said Professor Jericho Brown as he reflected for his first time at the English Department for his interview.
Gerri's warmth and compassion for everyone who entered the English Department continued to be cherished as people thanked her for her time at Emory.
"Gerri welcomed me and taught me everything I need to know," shared Undergraduate Degree Program Coordinator Eric Canosa. "My life is 100 times better for knowing her."
Gerri Moreland began her time at Emory University working in the Philosophy and Classics Department. After four years, she applied for the Senior Administrative Assistant position in the English Department. She has mastered that position for the past 22 years.
"I've learned a lot over the years," Gerri stated. "I really like the faculty and they've been supportive."
For 22 years, people involved in the English Department, and the university in general, have become more than just Gerri's acquaintances; they have become family. Gerri witnessed faculty and students come and go. She experienced the births and upbringings of professors' children.
"I just wanted to see the growth of the children," said Gerri. "Just keep up with them because years are passing."
With her laughter, wisdom and welcoming presence, Gerri boosted the moods of visitors, faculty and work-study students.
"I don't think I've ever seen Gerri in a bad mood," reflected former work-study student Christell Roach. "She taught me to maintain my joy."
Gerri also impacted the lives and careers of those who worked closely with her daily.
"[She] has taught me so much about perspective," commented Academic Department Administrator Meredith Blankinship.
"Gerri set the tone for the English Department," remarked Graduate Degree Program Coordinator Clifford Clark.
Although the English Department is sad to see Gerri go, we are grateful for her time, companionship, and memories. More importantly, the English Department is excited to see what is next for her as she enjoys the remainder of her life.
"I'm going to take this opportunity to enjoy the rest of my life and travel," concluded Gerri. "I've learned to live each day as if it's your last."