Mines celebrated the extensive career of Marilyn Schwinger as faculty and students alike wished her luck in future endeavors. Marilyn served Mines for 40 years as a secretary in the Geology Department, and the impact she left will be remembered for years to come.
Food and beverages were provided to those who came to the Ballrooms of the Student Center Friday night. John Humphrey, head of the Geology department, was one of many adoring coworkers to speak kind words about the lively Marilyn Schwinger. “The fantastic turnout attests to Marilyn’s widespread reach on campus,” said Humphrey. “She is the longest standing classified employee at Mines, and will be very difficult to replace.” Over the years, Humphrey states that Schwinger became “the face of our department,” as she worked in the front office for four decades. Schwinger was hired under former school president Guy T. McBride, and has since then seen five presidents and six department heads come and go. She also worked in several different buildings, as she outlasted the remodeling of Berthoud Hall “There will be an empty, lonely space without you,” said Humphrey.
Schwinger worked side by side with Debra Cockburn for over 20 years for the Geology department. “Marilyn was always there, and she was part of a good family [in the department],” said Cockburn. “She is always warm and friendly, and working with her has been a great, great experience.” Cockburn says she will miss the “commotion in the front office; Marilyn was always busy and fixing things.”
Others spoke about Marilyn, and they all offered pleasant memories and recollections. Schwinger is “the best listener, and hanging around with Marilyn always put me in a better mood.” Another co worker added, “Marilyn will be missed, and we wish her luck as she embarks on a new adventure.” It was emphasized throughout the night that Marilyn does so much for the department and the school, and her shoes will be difficult to fill. “We don’t know exactly what Marilyn did; but we know it was a lot and she was she best at it,” said one of Schwinger’s coworkers.
Marilyn always rued the advancing technological equipment during her time at Mines. Getting a fax machine was an advancement that Schwinger was not looking forward to. This trend continued as time went on. It is ironic then that one of the parting gifts the department gave to Schwinger was her own computer.
The celebration was concluded with closing remarks from Schwinger herself. “It has been a joy and an educational experience. A lot of people struggle at Mines, but I have loved every single solitary minute. There are so many people here I will never, ever forget.”
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