After working at Hillsdale College for 35 years, Denise Nivison has retired from her role as the Delp Hall faculty aide. Nivison assisted the faculty with almost every discipline on campus and was known for her warmth, smile, and encouragement.
Nivison said her role as an aide changed dramatically over her time with the college.
“I used to type manuscripts, books, and letters, but with new technology, the job has evolved,” Nivison said. “It now consists of making copies, scanning documents to make PDFs, helping with letters of recommendation. It’s hard to describe because it changes everyday.”
Nivison detailed her different roles on campus throughout her time at the college.
“When I first started, there was an office on the top floor of Strosacker that had a 5520 IBM computer,” she recalled. “There were no windows and all of the faculty secretaries worked there. There actually used to be two buildings on campus — Knowlton Hall and the Fine Arts building — that eventually became Moss Hall and Delp Hall. I worked for faculty in both of those departments and loved my time there.”
According to Nivison, one of her favorite parts about working with Hillsdale College’s faculty was the knowledge she gained through her interactions with them.
“I feel like I’ve earned an honorary degree with the amount that I’ve learned from the faculty,” she said.
Nivison said what she’d miss the most about campus is the people.
“It’s a fantastic place,” she said. ”I don’t even know how to praise it enough. The faculty are phenomenal; I loved the students.”
Amidst all her responsibilities, Nivison was known for the support that she provided on campus. Alumnus Nolan Ryan ’20 described how Nivison not only helped him with club finances, but also found ways to always encourage him.
“I delivered The Collegian to Delp Hall my senior year and would drop them in her office,” Ryan said. “She would be there with a huge smile and would often have something encouraging to say about how great the paper looked. She was always kind and supportive.”
Lacey George, the new faculty aide in Delp Hall, echoed Ryan’s description of Nivison.
“She was my supervisor when I worked in Lane Hall, but we became more than good colleagues,” George said. “We became friends outside of work.”
George described the task of taking over for Nivison as leaving her with “very, very big shoes to fill.”
“If I can come even close to that, I will be so happy,” George said. “She really equipped me with what I need to be successful in this role, and that’s one of the things that I’m so grateful for. I just know that she’s going to be very missed. I miss her already.”