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Meet Nell Downer

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The "heartbeat of Graham Hall"

Nell Downer hugs UD mascot Baby Blue.


Nell is retiring this week after 32 years of service to the University. "Nell has played a central role in IPA as the go-to person who saw to it that everything got done. Nell was the person who opened the office every day and was available to answer any questions that came up. She created a very positive atmosphere for our students and staff. Best wishes for a well-deserved and happy retirement." Jerome Lewis, IPA Director

For this very special edition of #MeetUsMonday, we are highlighting IPA's MVP: Nelcenia Nell" Downer, our Office Manager Extraordinaire. After 32 dedicated years with the University18.5 years with IPANell is retiring at the end of this week!

As we say goodbye to this Graham Hall treasure, we feel confident it won't be forever. Read on for Nell's responses to our five-question quiz.

How would you describe yourself beyond your title? 

Beyond my title, I am a wife, a mother, a friend.  I love people and am always interested in them and what they are about. 

What are you working on?

Currently at IPAI say currently because I will be retiring on November 13I am the Administrative Assistant, Office Manager.  I handle all of the everyday activities of the office.  I pay the bills, manage visitors, take care of some of our students' issues, handle payroll. I am also the Human Resources Liaison for IPA, I handle the forms for hiring, changes, and other Human Resources issues for IPA.  

Where are you working?

My home office, now, is in my living room. I started out with a desk in a corner, but now, I've spread out over the entire room. My husband hasn't complained yet... I do like it because if I get tired of sitting in my office chair, I can either sit on the sofa or my easy chair and, of course, still be very productive.    

Why do you do this work?

 I like working with people and I can do that a lot in IPA. I like solving problems, which we can sometimes have quite a few in IPA. My co-workers are great, and I consider them my friends. I will miss them all, and of course, our students, when I retire.   

When I'm not working, I'm:

 When I am not working, currently, I love to go out onto my front porch and soak up the sun and fresh air and to see the clouds and rain when the sun is not out.  My husband and I love to travel.  We are looking forward to when the pandemic is over and everything is opened up and it is safe to do things again.  We love visiting family and friends and going on cruises.  We also love going on long car drives just to see different scenery. I belong to a book club duly named, A Wine Club That Loves Book," we meet once a month. I also love my church, which I miss going to now because of the COVID-19.    

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Nelcenia Nell" Downer, IPA's Office Manager Extraordinaire is retiring after 32 years of service with the University.
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Meet Nell Downer