Four women in key administrative positions with a collective 123 years of service to Minnesota State Mankato will be entering retirement this spring.
Among those women are Jan Marble, retiring as student financial services director after 31 years with the University, and Donna Hensel, the University’s facilities purchasing coordinator, retiring after more than 43 years as a University employee.
“Among the four, we are losing well over a century of dedicated service to the students, faculty and staff at Minnesota State University, Mankato,” said Rick Straka, vice president for finance and administration. “These employees have been part of innovative, continuous improvement and changes.”
Straka said the women have played key roles in such developments as the implementation of ISRS as the system’s main record keeping network, the use of purchasing cards for procurement, the new Marketplace electronic purchasing and contracts process, as well as the multiple uses of the MavCARD.
“They have all been committed to serving the students faculty and staff through ever-changing environments and technologies. The University appreciates their significant contributions and service to Minnesota State Mankato,” Straka said.
Hensel, the recipient of the University’s Outstanding Service Award in 2018, worked more than 43 years for the University in various capacities. She worked in the president’s office during the 1979 inauguration of President Margaret Preska and remained office administrator before moving to facilities management in 1981, where she would work the bulk of her years with the University. Since 2013, she served as University’s facilities purchasing contract officer.
In addition to her service award, Hensel said her proudest accomplishments at Minnesota State Mankato including working to start the first annual Campus Planting Day which happens each spring to beautify the campus.
Looking back after starting her University employment in 1977 working in the Wiecking Center, Hensel’s fondest memories recall driving down to Old Main – which was then located on the school’s original lower campus site at the bottom of the Warren Street hill – to use the campus’s only photocopying machine.
Hensel’s department message to students: “Time goes fast. Enjoy your days as a student at Minnesota State Mankato. It’s a great University.”
Marble worked 31 years in various capacities but has been serving as director of student financial services since 2004. Before that, Jan worked as the university’s accounting director. In her role, she oversaw the functional areas of financial aid, accounts receivable, cashiers, and the Campus Hub.
“She worked to bring all of these areas together to better serve students and staff by being one work unit working towards the same goal of improving services to students,” said Steve Smith, assistant vice president for budget and business services. “Jan was instrumental in bringing to life the University’s vision of providing better service to students as it relates to financial and other matters.”
Over the years, Marble ascended the University business services ladder as an accounting technician, accounting officer, and accounting director before heading student financial services.
Marble said her years with business services enabled her to attend professional conferences and systemwide meetings. During those encounters, Marble said she gained a keen appreciation of the University’s student-centered focus and forward-thinking approach.
“It really made me proud to be a Maverick,” she said. “This is one awesome place.”
After years working to help students gain their college education, Marble leaves students will the challenge to keep trying.
“Never stop trying to do good, and never stop trying to do better,” she said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Two other women humbling declined our request to spotlight their 48+ years of combined employment. We respect their request and honor them in absentia for their loyal years of service.