October 5, 2004
"Transfer Lady" Says Goodbye
From the students to the campus itself, Benedictine University has changed over the years. Danice Jeffers’ dedication to serving students throughout her career never changed. She retired last Friday, after having been with Benedictine University for 21 years.
When she first began her association with Benedictine University in September ’83, Danice Jeffers worked as an administrative assistant in Admissions. When she left the department five years ago, she was associate director. She worked in the Academic Resource Center ever since, where her full job title was Transfer Evaluation Articulation and Dual Enrollment Coordinator. Through her work, she came to be known simply as “The Transfer Lady.”
The only thing longer than Jeffers’ job title was her list of various duties, which included compiling transfer guides, overseeing IAI (Illinois Articulation Initiative) and 2+2 Agreements, evaluating transfer credits and, as ARC Director Jon Miller puts it, having “the ability to answer any question.”
Originally from Chicago, Jeffers earned her degree in business from Northern Illinois University in 1979, after which she took time off to stay home and raise her two children. In ’83, she began looking for a job; she wound up at Benedictine because “it just worked out that way.” However, she liked the academic environment (“it grew on me”).
Benedictine holds many memories for Jeffers, including the antiquated computers of the ‘80s when she first began and “all those years in Ben Hall.” With the passage of two decades and the recent transfer of the ARC to Kindlon Hall, Jeffers saw a lot of things change, including the students.
What didn’t change, however, was her willingness to “[help] the students figure out their way,” which she said was one of the best parts of working at the University. She admitted, however, that the transition to the ARC came a close second in job perks: “Getting my own office with a window… that was a highlight.”
Students and staff members alike were sorry to see Jeffers go, and for different reasons. David Striker, associate registrar in the ARC, says that students had a lot of trust in Jeffers because of her knowledge and skill concerning transfer work.. Striker describes her as a woman who would “drop whatever she [was] doing to help a student” and as “a front-line gatekeeper” with regard to accreditation. “She epitomizes the Benedictine philosophy of hospitality,” Striker said.
And Jon Miller, who concurs that Danice was “a tremendous asset to the students,” feels that her experience in Admissions was “very beneficial to us here in the ARC. … She’s done a difficult job very well over the years and she’s going to be hard to replace.”
Jeffers intends to enjoy retirement. She is moving to Dixon, where her daughter lives, and looks forward to walking along the river with her dog. She anticipates that her newfound leisure time will include “just taking it easy” and “[having] no big plans.” However, she does have a variety of hobbies in which she’d like to take part. These include working with genealogy, painting, traveling and enjoying nature.
Always one to share her wealth of knowledge, Jeffers offered some words that she hopes students will heed: “This time here when they’re in college is the only chance they’re going to have to get things right. Use your time wisely; get help when you need it; don’t get D's and F's; and don’t get a lot of withdrawals because it’ll come back to haunt you.” Then she concluded, “I just want to say goodbye… and [to] all the people who have been nice, thank you.”