Updated Aug 9, 2005 09:17:12
Miskelley Honored for 40 Years of Dedication
Tech President Dan Reneau presents proclamations to Flo Miskelley during her retirement reception Thursday.
RUSTON -- After 40 years of service to Louisiana Tech University, it was no surprise that the turn out for Flo Miskelley’s retirement reception at the Marbury Alumni House was impressive.
An estimated 600 people attended the reception held last Thursday in honor of one of the most loyal employees in the history of the university.
Miskelley, a Ruston native who graduated from both Ruston High School (1953) and Louisiana Tech (1955), began her 40-year journey when she was hired by Joe Aillet in August of 1965 following an eight-year stint with Shell Oil in Jackson, Miss.
“Someone asked me where I wanted to work on campus, and I said, ‘Anywhere but the athletic department,’” replied Miskelley, who will be stepping down from her current job of Associate Athletic Director at the end of September.
Fortunately for the Louisiana Tech Athletic Department and Tech fans, Miskelley’s request fell on deaf ears as Aillet hired her as secretary, the only one in the entire athletic department at the time.
“I told Coach Aillet that I didn’t know anything about football, and he said that was okay because I wouldn’t be playing,” Miskelley remembers.
From the very beginning one of her main responsibilities even as secretary was selling tickets, ironic considering Miskelley began working at age 15 selling tickets and popcorn at the Ruston picture show called Tech Theater.
“I worked weekends and nights and made minimum wage, about 50 cents an hour, I think,” said Miskelley whose family was in attendance Thursday.
During Miskelley’s tenure at Tech, she has managed to outstay 11 different athletic directors while climbing the ladder in the Tech Athletic Department.
However, perhaps her biggest attribute has been her friendly and always so helpful service provided to the Louisiana Tech fans over all the years.
“She is an amazing woman,” said former Bulldog football player and coach Mickey Slaughter. “To be able to keep up with the ticket requests, ticket allocations, the people in all the sports and to do what she has done virtually technology free is an absolute miracle.”
Minus a computerized system which she has shied away from for years, Miskelley managed to keep the most concise auditing records with pencil and pad while also using an incredible memory to assist her customers.
“She is the last of the old breed of business managers to provide face to face customer service with a smile,” said Tech Athletic Director Jim Oakes.
Those customers, who have become more like Miskelley’s friends over the years, are the ones who have benefitted the most over the past 40 years.
Her outstanding work has been rewarded before as Miskelley was the recipient of the 1998 Carl Maddox Award given by the Louisiana Athletic Director’s Association for distinguished service in athletic administration.
“I’ve always said that when Flo left, I would leave,” joked Tech Athletic Director Jim Oakes. “She is without a doubt the unsung hero of this athletic department. Only those who have worked along side her truly realize this.”
During Thursday’s retirement reception honoring Miskelley, Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau and Oakes both spoke of her loyalty to the university.
“It’s very rare in this day and age for someone to work for 40 years at the same place,” Oakes said. “When you think of loyalty, you think of Flo.”
Reneau presented Miskelley with a pair of framed proclamations, one from Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco and one from Louisiana Tech University, both thanking her for her tireless efforts over the past four decades.
Throughout the reception, it was evident that Miskelley was very appreciative although a little embarrassed by all of the to-do surrounding her retirement.
However, if nothing else it gave the Louisiana Tech fans -- or should we say Flo’s fans -- who had packed into the Marbury Alumni Center an opportunity to finally give something back to her ... a standing ovation.