They love to talk about everything. Their topics run the gamut: from health to bargains to travel to the weather. Sometimes they stray into the world of gossip. Every now and then they discuss the one thing they all have in common: Onondaga Community College. Once a month retired OCC faculty members gather for lunch at the Gem Diner in Syracuse. “It’s fun to catch up. It’s always a different group of people and we really enjoy each other,” said Janet Hamly. She retired in 2012 after nearly 30 years as a Professor in the Counseling department at the College and is in charge of organizing each month’s meeting.
The monthly gathering was started more than a decade ago by Georgia Schneider. Georgia retired in 2003 after 36 years at the College as a Professor in Modern Languages. “As I was retiring I knew this was something I wanted to start,” Schneider said. “I was able to get a list of addresses for retired faculty from the OCCFTA and used it to send out the initial mailing. Each year as people would retire we would include them on our distribution list.”
The October 2015 get together included eight retirees and two spouses. Sue Lamanna was the newest member of the group having retired just five months earlier after spending 19 years in the Nursing major. Shortly after everyone arrived she got out her phone, put it in calculator mode, and asked everyone how long they worked at the College. The cumulative answer: 297 years. That’s a lot of institutional knowledge.
The time spent together, both in the past as co-workers and today as retirees is appreciated by all. It’s a wonderful time to reflect on life and OCC’s impact. “The College is a place of opportunities for everyone, including employees and students,” said Schneider. “It was wonderful to be part of it and to serve the community in new ways.”
The group of retired faculty members do lunch the third Wednesday of every month at 12 noon at the Gem Diner on Spencer Street. If you are interested in attending future meetings please email Janet Hamly at email@example.com.