Cheers to 25 years

Wishing Colleen Bader a happy retirement from Student Senate

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Photo by Stephanie Kuski

Colleen Bader stands in front of the conference room in the Student Senate named after her.

After 25 years as the program assistant for Student Senate, Colleen Bader is calling it a career.

Bader said she will be retiring at the end of July. She began her journey in 1987 as a limited-term employee program assistant of foreign languages and became the LTE program assistant of Senate in the fall of 1991 and five years later became a classified program assistant.

During her years with Senate, Bader grew close to students while maintaining a high standard for her duties, which she said include supervising the students in Senate; working with the executive board; preparing agendas, minutes, bills and resolutions; working with Harry Hertel in legal services and working with the student service attorney, Don Southard.

All of these duties have sparked a memorable connection with the students involved in Senate, she said.

“I love the day-to-day contact I have with the students,” Bader said. “I get attached to them and I really do love them.”

Bader also keeps in touch with those who have graduated. Bader said some students will call her when they’re in town to visit and she has even been invited to a few former students’ weddings.

The university recognized her diligence when Bader became the first person to have a room named after her in the new Davies Center, which Bader said was an honor and distinct highlight of her career.

Several senators spoke highly of Bader’s sweet demeanor, hardworking personality and support.

Bader gifts the senators with an annual “treat day” in December, she bakes dozens upon dozens of homemade goods, former Student body president Jake Wrasse said. She even sends birthday cards to senators on their 21st birthday.

Wrasse said he is grateful Bader has been a part of Senate for his entire tenure. Her experience is a resource and she is genuinely kind, Wrasse said.

“Colleen is the glue that holds Student Senate together,” Wrasse said. “Everyone is going to miss having her around, but she is entirely deserving of a long and happy retirement. She is a sweet and amazing person, and we have been lucky to have had her for so long.”

Abby Kielman, former chief of staff, said from the start of her first year, Colleen was a mentor who was upbeat, positive and wholeheartedly loved her job.

“Colleen has a genuine soul and she cares a lot about people,” Kielman said. “Beyond the fact that this is her job, she really loves being here. This isn’t just a job, it’s her passion.”

Eric Kasper, assistant professor of political science and former student body president in 1999-2000, referred to Bader as an “indispensable force” who got the job done, someone any student would feel comfortable turning to for advice.

Student Body Vice President Colton Ashley said Bader is a one-of a-kind woman who is always there to give students a helping hand.

“We’re going to miss her,” Ashley said. “I hope her retirement is nice, relaxing and peaceful.”

Bader said she will keep in touch with students and faculty, stopping by the Senate office to catch up from time to time.

“I’m going to miss the students and staff,” she said, “but it’s time for me to move on.”