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Fifty Years at UNH

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
August 17, 2011

Photo courtesy of Kerry Clark

Barbara Pond came to work at UNH in 1961, two weeks after graduating from Oyster River High School. “Let’s Twist Again” was topping the charts. Women wore dresses and skirts to the office; men donned ties. Payday was once a month; Pond earned $45 a week.

“So many things have changed since then,” says Pond, a senior business service assistant in the COLSA business service center. “It’s hard to know where to begin.”

But she does know when to end: on Sept. 2, Pond will retire and leave the place she says has been her second home. Everything keeps changing, she says. It’s time for her to change, too.  

Pond began her career in the purchasing department in the basement of Thompson Hall where she typed all of the purchasing orders for the entire campus on an electric typewriter, which she had never laid fingers on until she’d applied for the job at UNH.

Back then, she could park nearby on Main Street for free. It was before they installed parking meters.

“When I came to work, we were expected to dress up (church clothes) including the men who wore suits, white shirts, and ties.  Later on women could wear pant suits.  Now, it doesn’t seem to matter what is worn,” Pond says.

Her next job involved using a bookkeeping machine in the accounts receivable department to record all charges and payments made at UNH by students, staff and the public. Then, after a stint as secretary for the assistant director of Cooperative Extension, Pond moved to the dean’s office in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture where, in 1982, she began using a computer. 

“Our computers at that time were called ‘dummy’ computers since they were only connected within the UNH campus system.  My first encounter with one was to submit hourly employees’ time to payroll,” Pond says.

Over time, as the technology changed, so did the computers, and Pond adapted along with them.

“I can’t keep up the way I used to. I don’t want to,” Pond says. “It’s time to go.”

But going doesn’t mean she will be slowing down. She and her husband share a passion for antiques. He repairs pre-war radios and she collects antique dolls and purses. Together they go out on ‘cruise nights,’ joining other antique car owners in one of their vehicles.

“I’ll miss everyone,” she says, “but I’m ready to go.”

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