Long-time WOU Employees Choose Retirement

Every June, popular WOU faculty and staff members choose to hang up their higher education hats and retire to a life of relaxation, grandkids and travel. In June 2018, a special retirement option prompted several employees who had been at Western for decades—and who have had countless interactions with students—bowed out for retirement.

Depending when you attended WOU, you likely recognize some of their faces. Kevin Hughes, whom you met in the last edition of Western Edge, started at WOU in 1987 and kept the immaculate grounds looking beautiful for 30 years. Don Boderman’s smiling face greeted visitors, students and employees alike for decades. Exercise science professor Bob “Dr. H” Hautala was—and still is—a permanent fixture in the stands at Wolves basketball games.

We asked a few of them what they would miss about WOU.

Here are a couple of those responses:

Debbie Diehm, assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs: “The students, of course. WOU students are the best. Seriously, the best. They are creative, curious, smart, persistent and dedicated. They are goal-oriented and gracious. The BEST.” 

Bob Hautala: “The easy answer is: ‘I’ll miss everything.’ I will miss the variety of work and all of its challenges. I will miss the debate and discussions of the Faculty Senate and committees, knowing that the differing viewpoints come from people who all have Western’s best interests at heart. I will miss the feeling of being involved in the progress that Western continues to make in meeting its mission at even higher levels of success.”