By: Jenice Coffey, NSU Office of Information Technology
A short story to brighten your day:
Our day started off with the usual . . . another day of drying off after the after effects of Hurricane Matthew, a 5:45 a.m. alarm to get up, morning coffee, chit-chat and a mad dash around the house trying to make it to school and work on time. The day started off another chilly day from the after effects of Hurricane Matthew.
We pulled in front of Granby High School with little effort. My 14-year-old son and I stayed near the school entrance greeting people. Soon I was engaged in a conversation with Ms. Roshelle, a hall monitor. We laughed and greeted the students with tips, advice and compliments until my son made a hasty retreat heading for class.
A man about six feet tall with a slim stature caught my attention with his resonating voice. He said, “Ma’am. I notice that you have a Norfolk State lanyard around your collar.” I said, “Yes, it is. I’m in the OIT department.” He repeated, “OIT?” “Office of Information Technology,” I explained. “I’ve been working there for nearly five years now.” I was able to get the man’s name from his school ID. Nathaniel Beale then told me, “Well, I used to go there a long, long time ago. Actually it was Norfolk Division of Virginia State College then,” Beale said.
We continued talking and sharing information. I remembered that OIT just won a spirited department photo contest with our imitation of the graduating class of 1957. I shared this tidbit with Beale and he exclaimed, “1957?! I was there then. That’s my year!” I guess I must have shown a little disbelief on my face as I could only say, “Wow.”
“I’ll prove it to you. Let me show you my ID.” Soon, he pulled out a overly-stuffed wallet from his back pocket and in one swift move, he pulled out his Norfolk Division of Virginia State College Student ID card from 1957 and placed it on the counter in front of me.
I have to get a picture of this I told him. He smiled and said, “sure,” as he straightened his collar to pose. We said our thanks and goodbyes. He kept smiling to himself as he returned the ID to his wallet, as if all the years of protecting it was justified in this very moment. I shared the story with my colleagues in OIT and others including Dr. Wayne Davis, our CIO. Smiles grew across the entire OIT office. Norfolk State University’s legacy still lives, breathes and touches so many people.
Editor’s Note: The above post is a first-person account of another professional impacted by Norfolk State University. Thank you, Ms. Coffey for sharing this heart-warming story with Making Waves.