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Student Services Director Tish Griffin Satre Announces Retirement

After almost 24 years at UAS and its predecessor, UAJ, Tish Griffin Satre has announced her retirement, effective July 6, 2009

Tish Griffin Satre

Ed. note: Reprinted here is her fond letter of farewell:

It is with great pride and affection for this university, for the students and for the wonderful colleagues that I have had the privilege to serve that I make this decision. It has been an incredible journey. I arrived as the Housing Manager in August of 1985 to open Student Housing though it was several weeks delayed for construction. We opened at the Super 8 hotel and rented family apartments in the area to begin our semester. Life at UAJ and then UAS has always been an adventure.

I’ve had the opportunity to establish campus traditions and activities, plan and open new facilities, but most importantly, I’ve had the opportunity to serve the students. They have kept me motivated in the lean times and provided incredible inspiration when I thought times were tough. I’ve been here long enough to see the second generation enter college and thrive like their parents had done before them.

I’ve had the opportunity to represent UAS at Rotary, in the press, with my professional organizations and throughout the community. It has been a pleasure to have served the institution in many ways…housing, activities, food service, recreation, wellness, student government, Whalesong, and in the old days the Children’s Center, development and the bookstore. I’ve sat on accreditation steering committees, Chancellor’s Cabinet, selected art in public places and have been the judicial officer for as long as I can remember. I’ve watched students become leaders in our institution and in our community and treasure the interactions with all of them and the unique qualities they have brought to our campus.

I brought Weird Al Yankovic, Los Lobos and Paula Poundstone, just to name a few, to Juneau and also supported lots of local talent. Whether it was establishing the Polar Bear Plunge, Winterfest, Turkey Bowling, and the Spring Formal or working on Tuxedo Junction it was always fun. It has given me special event expertise and has kept me young at heart.

I leave knowing I have the strongest staff in place, confidence in our student leaders and absolute belief that UAS makes a difference in our community and in the lives of our students. The faculty brought their gifts and talents to our institution and I want to tell them thank you. Thank you for giving that extra time to a student in need, thanks for teaching in a way that was culturally sensitive, thank you for trying to be educational when a student makes a mistake and we need to intervene together. You are the lifeblood of our institution and it has been a privilege to support the academic mission of the institution in my work. My staff are amazing. They are creative, loyal, capable and have their pulse on student life. It has been truly a privilege to work with them and I get so much credit because they are so wonderful. The Student Services Division has gone through many changes over the years. It was a joy to have my favorite boss return after being gone for seven years. I am confident in his leadership and in the future of our division.

UAS has seen me through some tough times personally with my long term issues with cancer. They have given me the leave I’ve needed and supported me through whatever I’ve needed as I’ve battled three primary cancers and 13 reoccurrences in the last 12 years. I am forever grateful to those that covered me, donated leave and had the understanding and compassion to support me during the hard times. You are forever in my heart.

As many of us in the administration are aging, I know that change is ahead…The next generation will be taking over soon as we “boomers” make way. I’m just planning to grab the brass ring early while I have my health and the energy to enjoy the change. I leave my areas well staffed with valuable folks to the institution, be sure to take advantage of them. They are our future!

It’s been a grand journey. I now look forward to time on the boat, getting to those household projects that never seem to get done and quality time with the kids and the grandkids. My husband Tom and I plan to travel extensively but our home base will always be in Juneau. Thank you for the privilege of work that was meaningful and saw me through a career of service in higher education. It has been a pleasure to serve.

Tish Griffin Satre’s retirement party is the night of her last day at UAS, Monday July 6, 7-10 p.m. at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. “I’m throwing my own party and there will be a band,” she said. The event is also a fundraiser for Cancer Connection.


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