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Interview with Tammy S. Blizzard, September 19, 2007 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Tammy S. Blizzard, September 19, 2007
September 19, 20
Ms. Tammy Blizzard began working at UNCW in 1976 as an accounting clerk. Ms. Blizzard rose through the ranks and retired in 1999 as Comptroller. Her volunteer work for UNCW includes chairing the Alumni Association in 1997--the year of UNCW's 50th anniversary. Ms. Blizzard and her husband are UNCW alumni who met at a Seahawks basketball game. Ms. Blizzard received the BS and MS in accountancy at UNCW while working full-time. Topics dicussed include working for the university while taking classes, volunteer work, and life in retirement.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Blizzard, Tammy Interviewer: Riggins, Adina Date of Interview: 9/18/2007 Series: Voices of UNCW Length: 45 minutes

Riggins: Hello. My name is Adina Riggins. I'm behind the camera here. I'm interviewing a special interviewee, Miss Blizzard, who will state her full name for the tape in just a few minutes. We are interviewing as part of the Voices of UNCW Oral History Program. We're in the University Archives, Randall Library, September 18, 2007. Miss Blizzard, please state your name for the tape.

Blizzard: Tammy Blizzard.

Riggins: Tammy Blizzard. Can I call you Tammy?

Blizzard: Yeah that's great, sure.

Riggins: Great wonderful. Thank you for coming today, I appreciate your fitting us in. I know this is your busy time of year. I see you guys go out a lot. I'm glad you're here. We like to get some background information for all of our interviewees. Could you please tell us where you were born and where did you grow up?

Blizzard: Yes. I was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. I grew up there, went to high school there, started going to UNCG and then got married and moved to Wilmington.

Riggins: Okay tell us a little bit. You said you met your husband at a basketball game? Is that it?

Blizzard: Yes, when I was working here at the university. I started in 1976 and we met in '79 at a UNCW basketball game.

Riggins: Over in Trask Coliseum?

Blizzard: Yeah, right, right. And it hadn't been open very long.

Riggins: He was a student here at the time?

Blizzard: Yes, yes. He was a s-- no, he had already graduated. We'd both-- well I was still going but he had graduated.

Riggins: So you started, at this time you were going here to...

Blizzard: Right. I didn't graduate until '83 so I was on the long extended plan.

Riggins: That's all right, nontraditional, so you started at UNCG and found your way here and liked it here. What was your major?

Blizzard: Accounting.

Riggins: Accounting. What was the department like then? I know when you're a student that's sort of all you know so it might be hard to remember. But what do you remember looking back, as far as what the school of business was like? It was the school of business administration by then.

Blizzard: Right, right, and it was in Isaac Bear. And all the offices and the classes, everything was in that building. I came along when Ruby Knox was here, Bob Appleton, and of course Norm Kaylor, some of the older, you know, older people. There was a Larry Clark here who I had accounting courses with but not the same Larry Clark that's here now. So-- but it was a lot different then.

Riggins: Yes and Ruby Knox, I believe she's still on my list of retired faculty. I think she lives in Salisbury or somewhere.

Blizzard: Yeah. I didn't have her but of course I had Bob Appleton and Norm and, you know, a lot of the others that were here, Claude Ferrell, Woody Hall. I mean all of those were here.

Riggins: When did you know you wanted to do accounting?

Blizzard: Well I had a boss from my job before I came to UNCW and he said why don't you go into accounting. Because I originally started in Psychology so that was completely, you know, opposite. So he said well you could probably make some money that way. So that's why I started taking accounting.

Riggins: Yep. But then he ended up working for the state, so we'll see. We won't go there. Accounting, I don't know anything about it. I just know that it wouldn't be the subject for me. It takes a certain kind of person.

Blizzard: You either like it or you don't.

Riggins: Very analytical, detail origin I would think. Good at math, that helps?

Blizzard: Some. But, you know, I don't know. Just knowing debits and credits I guess.

Riggins: Being organized, being able to track it all. Is the department different? I heard, I interviewed Bob Appleton. He's very friendly. What was he like as a teacher?

Blizzard: Oh he was very good. He was kind of very laid back. He hasn't changed any in the years. I mean he's-- some of the professors were a little sterner or, you know, more straight laced in class, but he liked to have a good time, in the class and out of the class.

Riggins: And he talked about real life experiences quite a bit.

Blizzard: Oh yeah. Well in fact Bob and his wife, who is, you know, his wife works at the University, she retired from here too. We-- my husband and the two of them, we all went to Nashville to the basketball tournament a few year's back. So yeah, so all of us chit chatting the whole way up there and back.

Riggins: You remained friends. Your former teacher and you're all having a good time. The classes were in Isaac Bear. Did you live on campus then, or no?

Blizzard: No, no, 'cause I was married at the time, you know, so I was a, I guess, nontraditional student, what they call. I'd take one or two classes a semester, thus it took me 'til '83 to graduate.

Riggins: Where did you work at the time?

Blizzard: Here. I started here in '76, so 1976.

Riggins: And did you stay in the same...?

Blizzard: Yeah, I started in accounting as, you know, an accounting tech, and then kind of worked my way up through the years. And when I left out of here in January of '99, when I early retired, I was comptroller then.

Riggins: And this was in the business services or...

Blizzard: Yeah, business affairs.

Riggins: Business affairs.

Blizzard: Worked for the Vice Chancellor of Business Affairs.

Riggins: What brought you to UNCW, to work here? Was it the job opening?

Blizzard: Yeah, yeah. I had another job in town, in Wilmington. And in fact, Bob Appleton recommended me for the job so, you know, I either owe him or not, what-- however you want to look at it.

Riggins: You knew him then.

Blizzard: Yeah, oh yeah. Yeah. I had known Bob for a while.

Riggins: From taking classes?

Blizzard: Right, from taking classes. And then he knew, you know, he had told Tim Jordan, who was my boss at the time, yeah I've got this girl in my accounting class that you should consider. So I went for the interview, got the job.

Riggins: He's another one I need to talk to, Tim Jordan. I haven't-- he lives in Burgaw.

Blizzard: Right. Right.

Riggins: So you're used to working and taking classes.

Blizzard: Right. I did it about all my life.

Riggins: That's always challenging in some ways you have to go home from work and do homework. Looking back at the university in general, what was it like when you came, in your department or outside?

Blizzard: Looking back I can remember the three main buildings but, you know, the bookstore was over in Hinton James. In our building-- we were actually in the administration building downstairs when I first came, and all the business offices were in there. Classes were upstairs. There were some history or English classes upstairs.

Riggins: When you started you were in Alderman?

Blizzard: Right. Right. I mean we were in Alderman lower floor, upper floor the whole time I worked here. And of course now they've gone to another building.

Riggins: I don't even know where.

Blizzard: Yeah, it's over-- Hoggard.

Riggins: Hoggard.

Blizzard: Hoggard, where, you know, they've...

Riggins: The cashier's office is in, that's James.

Blizzard: No, James Hall. Yeah, James Hall used to have just, you know, that was-- I don't believe it even had an upstairs. I could be wrong. But the bookstore was over there and the little snack bar for the students. That's all that was there at that point in time.

Riggins: The Good Wood Tavern.

Blizzard: Yes, that was it. That was it. Good Wood Tavern.

Riggins: Who were some of the people who influenced you while you were here? We might want to talk about it in terms of your involvement and activities. I noticed going through the records and archives, I said oh look, Tammy Blizzard was on this committee too. Do you remember being on an ad hoc committee for student workers? I think Dr. Leutze may have formed that.

Blizzard: I was on, you know, he was big on the Total Quality University so I was on several, you know, committees involving that. There was also one that had to do with awareness of-- it was like-- that may have been the student one we're talking about because it was awareness with the students as far as, you know, being alert on campus and had rape awareness and, you know, different things that we dealt with at that point in time.

Riggins: I should've saved the paper. It may not have been around that long, but for student workers. Did you supervise student workers?

Blizzard: Well they-- and then now work study was part of, you know, the work study financial aid program was part of accounting, you know, 'cause we would take care of-- in payroll we would of course pay and keep the records of the time and all on the student workers who worked through work study. So that may have been some involvement there.

Riggins: Right, right. That could've been it. Who was your immediate supervisor? Was it Tim Jordan?

Blizzard: Yeah, Tim was, almost the whole time I was here. As he kind of moved up, I kind of moved with him. Yep. And I still see him once in a while, and my husband even plays golf with him. So we keep in touch.

Riggins: Right, right. Yeah. Right before you left, well soon after you left I remember the changeover with the bookstore to Barnes & Noble. That was under his domain.

Blizzard: Yeah, 'cause the bookstore, well it was run, you know, Arnold Siko was the bookstore manager for years and years, and then when they decided to contract out to Barnes & Noble's, you know, I don't even-- that's about the time I left. So I knew that they had contracted out but I hadn't really seen the results of what they'd done there.

Riggins: Your husband graduated from here too?

Blizzard: Right.

Riggins: What was his area?

Blizzard: He was PE. And I think it was more the recreational therapy and type stuff like that. Yeah, he knew Mel Gibson, you know, all the former coaches. And Bill Brooks, of course, you know, was the head of everything for the longest time. He was a great guy.

Riggins: He had so many jobs.

Blizzard: Right, right. He did a lot for the university as far as the athletic programs.

Riggins: Very hardworking. Did your husband work in that field?

Blizzard: No. No, actually he's always been in sales and so he retired with Lowe's Home Improvement. Always in sales.

Riggins: What is his name?

Blizzard: Len. Len.

Riggins: If I may, it's just good to get some stories about some of the people and things you were involved with. If I can, before the interview you said that you were the chair of the alumni association during the 50th...

Blizzard: Right, doing the 50th-- yeah, 50th anniversary.

Riggins: Tell us about that. There was a lot of galas.

Blizzard: Yeah, we had a lot of parties, and then everywhere we would go across the state, you know, we'd meet with alumni chapters and have, you know, have little socials and parties. And, you know, it was a fun year, a lot of work.

Riggins: You worked closely with...

Blizzard: Pat Smith was the alumni director at that point in time.

Riggins: And Dr. Leutze.

Blizzard: Yeah and Dr. Leutze-- right, he came, you know, he came in-- I believe it was '90, 1990. And he was, I guess, around ten years. He did a lot for the university so we moved way up, way forward.

Riggins: Did the university look different soon after he came?

Blizzard: Well of course, you know, he loves his color and his flowers, so yes, as far as physically, it looked a lot different.

Riggins: The people hadn't paid attention to it much before.

Blizzard: But, you know, Dr. Wagoner started the beautiful architecture, you know, and has kept it that way. So I think that's one of the best things with, you know, our university, is it's beautiful, you know, and all the buildings...

Riggins: Look really nice. That is very nice, very unique. So often in big universities there'll just be one building that they had to put up quick and doesn't match.

Blizzard: So we do have, you know, that was one of the things that we were the proudest of when we would host other universities coming for different conferences or whatever, is, you know, is the beauty of the university.

Riggins: Did you ever get to know Dr. Wagoner?

Blizzard: Yeah, I mean when I came on board he, you know, he was, of course, the chancellor then. He wasn't quite as outgoing as Dr. Leutze, but you'd see Dr. Leutze everywhere. I mean I'd walk down the hall, hardly a day did I not pass him in the hallways. But Dr. Wagoner was, you know, of course more...

Riggins: Conservative.

Blizzard: Right, conservative, reserved. He'd get on his bike and, you know, ride around campus. So that's a little different.

Riggins: But you got to know Dr. Wagoner and his wife?

Blizzard: Right, Madeline, yes.

Riggins: They had people over to their home I believe.

Blizzard: Right, oh yeah. And then they always had the Christmas parties down at the Kenan House, which, you know...

Riggins: Which was for the whole faculty?

Blizzard: Well it was mostly just-- of course we were smaller then, so faculty and some staff, you know, depending on your position at the university. But he'd have two or three of them so that he could, you know, have everybody down there. 'Course then, you know, we got so big and so Dr. Leutze would have them over at the cafeteria. We would have our Christmas parties at the cafeteria. I don't know if they still do that.

Riggins: I remember soon after I started the money ran out. That was the year there was no money, and they didn't have it. And then they kind of brought it back a little after that, but in recent years I don't think they've had it with it being so big. But yeah, it was a different story then.

Blizzard: Oh it was a lot smaller. I mean we'd have our own little Christmas parties in the administration building. I remember Bill Malloy who was the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at that time, he would dress up as Santa Claus and go, you know, go around the halls. And everybody would bring food and we'd have a little party. Don't do that anymore I'm sure.

Riggins: It's more formal. The holiday party we have here, people used to bring their own you know-- it was a potluck. Everyone knew what to bring. Some people were just great cooks. You know, "I want her to bring her biscuits." It was very clear what everyone would bring. But now we have it catered by Aramark.

Blizzard: Times have changed huh?

Riggins: Some people don't like that but when Sherman Hayes, my current boss, started he said that's ridiculous that you all have to bring your own things for your Christmas party.

Blizzard: Oh well, I think accounting still does it. But anyway-- thrifty.

Riggins: There is a thrifty-- his legacy here.

Blizzard: Oh yeah.

Riggins: People are very...

Blizzard: There was a lot of years where we didn't have money or, you know, where, you know, had to cut things, cut things out.

Riggins: Just for the record for our holiday party at the library, those aren't state funds. We raise those funds through the book sale and through other things.

Blizzard: I know. I know. Accounting wouldn't let you get by with doing that.

Riggins: Yeah. No state funds for the party. You've had a long involvement with the alumni association.

Blizzard: Right, yeah. When I went on board I think we were-- they were raising money to, you know, to renovate the Weiss house, and there was-- one of the people that was instrumental in that was John Baldwin who was been on the alumni association board and, you know, been active for many years in a fraternity. I don't remember the name of it, but a fraternity that he was in, you know, gave a lot of money. And we had a designer showcase. Martha Stewart came to the-- she came to the auditorium or somewhere. Anyways, had a book signing, and so that was when I, you know, got involved then, was in raising those monies.

Riggins: You raised a lot of funds. I heard stories about how-- it's amazing how much...

Blizzard: Yeah, we had taken out a note with the bank, I think it was $400,000 or something, and everybody said oh no, you'll never raise the money to pay that, and we did, paid it off.

Riggins: Dr. Leutze was very supportive of that. He came to the events.

Blizzard: That was pretty, you know, pretty much a very good milestone.

Riggins: After that they said all right, you're all ready to be president of the alumni association for '97. What about the business school? Do they have a chapter in the alumni association?

Blizzard: Yeah they do, and I was involved with that at one point in time. I'm not now but, you know, how trying to get back into more things since I've moved back close, you know, to Wilmington. I was down at Oak Island for a while and then out in California. So now that I'm here now, yeah, now that I'm back I'm getting more involved, back with the Seahawk Club and the Alumni Association and, you know, trying to-- course we've kept season basketball tickets 'cause we do like to go to basketball games. Try and make a few of the baseball games so, you know, try to support the athletic programs. So we're getting, you know, back into it.

Riggins: Tell us about the MSA program and how did you get convinced to do that, or maybe you wanted to do that.

Blizzard: You know, when it first started, and I remember I really wanted-- I liked going to school, always did, you know, so I said oh well, I'm a permanent student. I'd rather go to school than work, which, you know, anyway it was fun but when-- I'm trying to remember their names. Gosh. Anyways, I'll think of it in just a minute, but when I found out I could go, you know, for two years, take the two year program, I didn't have to go for a year, then I said well, you know, I'll do it. And so I would, you know, take-- I'd have to take a couple of courses a semester and do some summer school, and finally the last summer you had to, you know, work on a major project so I just took vacation leave for five weeks and, you know, finished it up. But, you know, that was when Howard Rockness [ph?] was the dean and Jack Baker was the first-- he started the program, but then-- yeah, he had to-- he moved away to Texas but, you know, he had some personal situations that came up. But then, you know, Howard Rockness' wife, you know, took over for him. She's done a wonderful job with that program.

Riggins: Now she's the department chair, or maybe just head of the MSA program?

Blizzard: Probably. Yeah, she was-- most years she was head of the MSA program but that was, you know, a great program, wonderful students. I mean they were just-- yeah, it made me feel young. They always would ask me, say well what are you going to do when you get your degree? I said retire. And I did.

Riggins: Not too long after.

Blizzard: Yeah it was. It was like a couple of years after I retired.

Riggins: Was it hard being in school after being out for a while?

Blizzard: Not really. I mean, you know, it took a little bit that, you know, the first semester, just getting back into it, and, you know, my computer skills weren't the greatest in the world so that was, you know, the toughest part for me. But I had a lot of help from the students in the class and from my fellow workers. So yeah, that helped me get along.

Riggins: What about the role of computers in accounting?

Blizzard: Oh well, you know, when I first started here, let's see, we had the computer punch cards. We would actually record all the expenses and revenue, you know, on-- for our ledgers on an NCR machine. I don't know if you know what they are, but it's those big old clunkers that you would type, you know, you would have to type everything in. I mean that's how we did our reports. So I mean it's changed a whole lot. Now, you know, you just get online, do all, you know, do all your stuff and go with it.

Riggins: A lot faster. In your undergraduate years you said you had to take a computer class. Just one computer class?

Blizzard: Yeah, we just...

Riggins: Basic.

Blizzard: Yeah, basic, just because you were a business or accounting major, you know, you had to take that. And that's the only, you know, course I had to take. Then when I-- I was in for a rude awakening when I went back.

Riggins: In your work you'd use...

Blizzard: Yeah I used it a lot at work, but not to the extent, you know, that they do in the classroom settings.

Riggins: Like what beyond-- I guess there were labs and things for advanced uses of-- what kind of software? Do you remember?

Blizzard: I don't even remember.

Riggins: Excel. You'd probably use Excel at work.

Blizzard: Right, well yeah, Excel, but-- and Word. I mean we just, you know, most-- what I would do, we'd have little, you know, we had our groups. In the master's program you'd have two or three people in groups that would work on your projects, whatever they may be. So I told them well I'll do any of the typing, writing. I mean I'll do, you know, the research I said but you guys do the PowerPoint and-- 'cause I was not very good at the PowerPoint.

Riggins: Then it just becomes standard.

Blizzard: Oh yeah.

Riggins: So you got in. It doesn't sound like it was that difficult, the MSA, since you had had such good preparation at Cameron also and you got your degree and your MSA. There was recently a ten year anniversary, right?

Blizzard: Oh yeah, ten year reunion of that graduating class.

Riggins: Did you go to that?

Blizzard: Yes, we had it down at Wrightsville Beach, at Shell Island.

Riggins: Did you coordinate that?

Blizzard: Yeah well I was working with a couple of other girls in the class and getting it together. I mean, you know, it was not too big of a deal just getting the caterer and finding a place and, you know, getting everybody together, but...

Riggins: Had it over there at Shell Island?

Blizzard: Right. It was fun.

Riggins: Did a lot of people come?

Blizzard: I was amazed. I mean there were about-- we only had-- I think it was a little less than 30 in our class. It was right around 30 in our class, in that class, and there must've been at least 18 or 20, you know, that showed up with their spouses or significant others. So it was a fun night. Had dinner and, you know, got to joke around. Of course Howard and Joanne were there so that was nice.

Riggins: You got to catch up with everyone. A lot of them, most of them are working. You're probably the only one who's retired.

Blizzard: Well yeah, I was the only one retired, but-- and, you know, several of them still live in town but most of them, you know, are Raleigh and Charlotte.

Riggins: Dr. Kaylor, I think, would've been dean when you were there.

Blizzard: Right, he was Dean then.

Riggins: In accounting. So it's probably nice to have someone who understands accounting out there. I have to ask about when you first met my boss Sherman Hayes. I got that on tape. I heard there's a funny story involved. Where did you meet him?

Blizzard: Oh, well I met him-- oh it was, you know, move in day with the students and he and I were assigned together to help move boxes up and down the steps. So it was just, you know, he was this-- he'd just come to the university. In fact it was gonna be his, you know, first-- I think he-- I guess he'd come in that July and this of course was in August. But he was huffing and puffing and just, you know, it was just funny because he's like I don't know what I got myself into. I volunteered to do this 'cause I'm new here and, you know, I said oh yes. So we spent the whole day and just, you know, I was giving him some insight into the university and some of the people here and...

Riggins: He tends to get excited when he meets people in accounting because he, I don't know if he's talked to you about his background. He has a master's in taxation. So he likes to talk to...

Blizzard: I think I do remember that, yeah.

Riggins: He likes to talk to people about that.

Blizzard: And I can remember dealing with him, you know, when I worked in accounting here, and he was always-- he always wanted to make sure everybody followed the rules and, you know, so he was very attuned to that.

Riggins: Yeah, well being new you have to-- what are the rules here?

Blizzard: He was one of the better ones, yeah.

Riggins: Every state's different and he came out of state. Did you know the previous librarian?

Blizzard: Gene Huguelet? Oh yes, knew Gene very well, very well.

Riggins: How did you know him?

Blizzard: Just working with him. And then he and Dan Getty in accounting, there were several of us that would run every day at lunch, and Gene, you know, he was a great runner. In fact I think he's won a whole lot of races.

Riggins: He still has done, pretty recently he did a marathon.

Blizzard: Right, right, and he would always win in his age group, you know. But...

Riggins: I have heard that story. Dan Geddie and Joe Hack...

Blizzard: Joe Hack, right. And Dan's brother John used to work here and he would run with them sometimes. And Bill Vereen over in telecommunications. I guess he's still here. So they had a little crew, the Varsity.

Riggins: That's what they called it. Some of the faculty I think would...

Blizzard: Yeah, Lee Johnson. I think Lee Johnson would run with them some but...

Riggins: Then when the student rec center came up I think that group kind of disbanded.

Blizzard: Well no, Dan still runs. Yes he does. I think he and maybe one, you know, I don't know who goes with him but I've talked to him recently and said they were still running at lunch.

Riggins: No need for that indoor center.

Blizzard: Oh well, maybe in the rain they do that.

Riggins: Yeah. I interviewed Gene, I got to know about everyone. Did you know Sue Cody at...

Blizzard: Oh yeah. I saw Sue on the way up here today, yeah.

Riggins: Yep she's one of the people you recognize. And Louise Jackson.

Blizzard: Yes, I knew Louise. And one of our accounting people, Metta King, moved over here. I think she's still working over here.

Riggins: Yes. She reports directly to Sherman. She's the business manager.

Blizzard: Oh okay, I didn't know. Good.

Riggins: Yeah she got that title and she's great. She does a lot for us, that's for sure. Anything about other service or activities that you did or committees you served on when you were working here that kind of stand out?

Blizzard: Well this wasn't really a committee or anything (phone rings) but I remember the-- when they started the orientation program in the summertime, (phone rings) for the Freshman coming in and their parents, you know. I-- that was a really great-- and I was involved (phone rings) in that because we would have a panel that would, you know, myself and somebody from-- Billy Dawson would come, you know, for public safety and we would just yeah, yeah, we would answer questions, you know. We'd give a little spiel about what our area covered and then, you know, open it up for questions from the parents and the students. And that was, you know, I think they still continue that. I'm pretty sure they do. To me that was one of the, you know, better programs that they initiated here.

Riggins: For Freshman orientation.

Blizzard: For Freshman orientation, right.

Riggins: There wasn't always a Freshman orientation?

Blizzard: No, no. Uh-uh. No, no, no. When I first came-- I mean I don't remember the year it was established but it wasn't. And I don't even remember who did, you know, who actually established it, but it might've-- I'm sure-- Dr. Bryan was here at the-- it might've been when Dr. Bryan-- under his-- 'cause I know Bill Malloy left and then Bill Bryan came in.

Riggins: He was dean of students too right?

Blizzard: He was the vice chancellor of student affairs, right.

Riggins: So what would you talk about? Did you participate? Did you talk about studying?

Blizzard: Well, you know, what, you know, what interested me then was the cashier's office and tuition bills and payments, and how they could handle them, you know, and that type of stuff. So anything that had to do with their payment to the university.

Riggins: Did you continue that throughout...

Blizzard: Yes. I did.

Riggins: All the way up until you retired.

Blizzard: Right.

Riggins: You retired in 1999 having started here in '76. Did you work for the state previous? Before that?

Blizzard: No.

Riggins: So thirty plus years working for UNCW, but very young retiring that's for sure.

Blizzard: Well I had the 20 years in and was 50 years old so-- and my husband, we needed to move with Lowe's. So that was the reason, the main reason, I retired.

Riggins: Oh really? Is that when you moved to California?

Blizzard: Yeah, we moved down to Oak Island into California. He was opening stores for Lowe's and so...

Riggins: Where in California?

Blizzard: Long Beach.

Riggins: Oh! That's nice.

Blizzard: Yeah, it was pretty nice.

Riggins: Was it different?

Blizzard: Oh yeah, different pace than around here.

Riggins: Nice pier out there. That's Orange County?

Blizzard: Well it's-- Long Beach is in LA County but it's right on the line with Orange County 'cause Seal Beach, we lived, you know, right near there around the line. So we were kind of out of all the busy, busy LA stuff.

Riggins: How did you like it out there?

Blizzard: It was nice. It was fun, lots to do. We love sports so lots of games to go to. But lots of traffic, so glad to get back here, home.

Riggins: Coastal, so you're still near the beach.

Blizzard: Right. Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Riggins: How long did you spend out there?

Blizzard: Oh we were just out there a year.

Riggins: Setting up the stores.

Blizzard: Right.

Riggins: What have you been doing in retirement? I know you're busy.

Blizzard: Well we just, you know, we built a new house a couple of years ago. We did, you know, we contracted and did a lot of the work ourselves and contracted out. And, you know, we play golf, we work in the yard, I volunteer, you know, for some different, like I said, I'm trying to get back into the alumni and the Seahawk Club. And I've-- helping out in Burgaw with the Historic Depot Foundation. We've started up a foundation to raise funds to restore and renovate, you know, preserve the train depot up there. So just, you know, things like that. Everybody say-- people say you want to do this and so okay, here we go.

Riggins: It's very easy to get in that mode.

Blizzard: I know. Some friends said well now what do you do. I'll say what don't I do. I can't keep up, you know. It's like the day's go by, well here we are.

Riggins: Busier than you were or just as busy.

Blizzard: Just as busy working, yeah.

Riggins: I interviewed Ralph Parker.

Blizzard: Oh yes, I remember Ralph. Ralph and I...

Riggins: Was he in your building? Maybe at one point.

Blizzard: Yes at one point he was and...

Riggins: Looked like maybe everyone who wasn't academic was in your building.

Blizzard: Yeah, just about. And then, you know, like I say, some of the classes were even upstairs. But yeah, Ralph and I had a lot of dealings together 'cause he worked with the VA students and, you know, getting them their benefits. And of course, you know, with accounting, with the cashier's office being under accounting, we had to-- we dealt with him a lot helping him with the students.

Riggins: And he was in admissions first and then...

Blizzard: When I first went to work admissions and the registrar were all downstairs where advancement is now. So just about everything was in that building.

Riggins: Admissions?

Blizzard: Admissions and registrar, all of the accounting, business offices, student affairs. Of course we didn't have an IT section so-- and then we didn't have-- then it was continuing education or continuing studies or something, was the public service area. We didn't have a vice chancellor for that area so, you know, it was a lot smaller.

Riggins: And the classes that were upstairs, I guess it's now a conference room, maybe, where the classes were.

Blizzard: Well no, there was a couple right where accounting was at one point in time. And I believe-- I think public service is in some of those. Now I might be wrong now but public service is in some of those that were classrooms.

Riggins: That must've been a busy time. So Ralph Parker was there. He said the same thing. He keeps saying yes and he's involved in so many projects.

Blizzard: He's now in Southport. I used to see him-- when I lived down Oak Island I'd see him around.

Riggins: He's another who says I'm so busy in retirement. I never have time like you think.

Blizzard: Oh and then we travel, you know. We travel a lot too, so that takes time of course.

Riggins: You were saying fall is a good time for you to travel.

Blizzard: Right, right.

Riggins: When the weather is more...

Blizzard: Well the weather's nicer and then all the summer people are back in school and work and everything. So, you know, you get to places and get in and out quicker.

Riggins: And when you built your house yourself, is your husband like a contractor?

Blizzard: No, but we've worked on building houses. We've bought and sold houses all our married life so it's kind of second nature to him. Plus working-- he worked, you know, with Lowe's Home Improvement contractor yard and dealt with all of that for a while.

Riggins: So he knows a lot of people. He was able to be very involved in that. And it's finished too. Yay! Any other people that I should talk to? I always like to ask. We've mentioned some names but there are people you might know that would be good interviewees. Who I should talk to.

Blizzard: Well, you know, as far as the faculty and staff, you've talked with Bob Appleton which, you know, he goes a way back. Somebody like Woody Hall, you know, or Claude Farrell because, you know, they've been here a long time. Any of the retired individuals.

Riggins: Woody I think is still working here.

Blizzard: Oh yeah, I think he is.

Riggins: I did talk to--

Blizzard: Carl Farrell, I thought he was still working here. Maybe not.

Riggins: He may have been doing phased retirement. But I did interview him this year, earlier in the year. He was really helpful.

Blizzard: All right. And Dorothy Marshall. She, you know, ;cause she was the registrar for years. I worked with her for years.

Riggins: Yes, so you must've had a lot of-- she was in your building?

Blizzard: Oh yeah, and Dr. Cahill. I don't know if you've spoken with him.

Riggins: Some of those people I have. Then you mentioned-- what about some people in business affairs, once it became business affairs. I did talk to Joe Hack. Dan Geddie? Was...

Blizzard: Yeah, he's been there a while and...

Riggins: He's still here.

Blizzard: Yeah, he's still here.

Riggins: Oh yeah! I've talked, I have emailed him 'cause he always provides me the financial statement.

Blizzard: Right, right. He's-- that's been his area, you know. Kay Ward's still here. She's, you know, works-- I think some of the ones like the Vice Chancellor. Bob Walton, you know, he's still in town. He's in Castle Haynes Bob would be a good one because he was here for, you know, a lot of years. He and Tim Jordan also, as far as the business affairs area.

Riggins: As soon as like, that was a good interview when I interviewed Joe Hack. He's a character.

Blizzard: Quite a character.

Riggins: Do you see him occasionally?

Blizzard: No, I hadn't seen him since I left here.

Riggins: He's down towards Carolina Beach. He was funny. He was taking about how as Director of Physical Plant and getting funds and how tight it was. If somebody quit, if somebody quit their job, then you didn't get those funds until you hired them and so you couldn't hire temps know.

Blizzard: Yeah, we used to have to juggle the money a lot. A lot. I was trying to think of somebody else. Billy Dawson, you know, who was head of the police, you know, here on campus. But, you know, Billy was here for years.

Riggins: He's retired now.

Blizzard: He's retired and he lives in Burgaw. He and Tim Jordan play golf together so...

Riggins: With your husband.

Blizzard: Yeah, but they don't go far.

Riggins: Those are some good names. We talk to faculty to try to get a story in their department, but we also need to get other people who are throughout the university, who reflect a lot on what's going on. I interviewed Mel Gibson earlier in the year.

Blizzard: Oh did you?

Riggins: He was nice, he provided a bit of information. It's helpful to get your stories for archives here about life. Would you recommend accounting to...

Blizzard: Oh of course, yeah. Of course. I have a niece that, you know, graduated from here and then went in the MSA program. She's working with an accounting firm in town. So yeah. So, you know...

Riggins: It's a good field. It's changed in the recent years. I think it's becoming even more well paying.

Blizzard: Yeah, right, right.

Riggins: There are certain laws that require more accountants, this is what Bob Appleton told me. There are laws that require more accountants now, one for audits and one for...

Blizzard: For tax. I mean you've got them for everything, yeah, right.

Riggins: They can't do the same...

Blizzard: Specialized, yeah, very specialized.

Riggins: A good salary, it does seem to run in families. I know people in families who decide oh I'll go ahead and do it too. Just hanging around with accountants for a while you start wanting to do it yourself. And you would recommend to UNCW?

Blizzard: Oh of course, of course.

Riggins: Your niece liked it here?

Blizzard: Oh yes. UNCW's a great school. I'd recommend it to anybody.

Riggins: Thank you very much. Anything that you can add as closing thoughts?

Blizzard: I can't think of anything. I mean we kind of covered most of it. I can remember a lot of things but, you know, they come back to me here and there. But I think, you know, I really enjoyed my time here at the university and I'm very proud of the university so that's why I'm trying to get back into things and help out where I can.

Riggins: I appreciate it though. Thank you for coming in.

Blizzard: Thank you. Appreciate it.

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