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Lanette Flagge’s desire has always been to be a positive influence in all aspects of students’ lives – academically, professionally and personally.
Over the years, she has achieved success in that respect, as some students have expressed their thanks through an acknowledgment in their dissertation, through an unexpected gift, or specific words of thanks.
“My husband has always said, ‘the students appreciate you because you appreciate them,’” Flagge said.
Flagge is retiring from the University of South Alabama after 41 years of service – 24 of which were at the USA College of Medicine where she served as an academic advisor for the basic medical sciences graduate program.
Before her time at the College of Medicine, Flagge worked as a secretary in the department of housing and a credentials and degree analyst in the registrar’s office – both of which involved working with students. The position at the College of Medicine gave her the opportunity to work individually with students and establish a relationship with each one over the five years that they were in the program.
Flagge has been the first point of contact for each student interested in the basic medical sciences graduate program. “Once they’re here, I serve as the overall academic advisor for those students for all aspects – I’m there to set up their schedules, make sure they are enrolled in the correct classes and see that they have successfully met the benchmarks to graduate."
“I will miss working with the students the most,” she said. “I’ve tried to make a positive difference in their life to ensure that they have had a good path in terms of completing their requirements. It’s a good feeling to know that I helped in whatever ways to help them achieve their goal.”
Flagge also is appreciative of the relationships she has made with colleagues.
Some of her fondest memories relate to the laughter ringing out across the hallways or over the phone during conversations with colleagues. Sometimes, the laughter has erupted over the most unexpected comments, expressions, or events.
A single memory relates to the start of each day of work. “For years, a dear friend and I would arrive on campus in the parking lot behind the Medical Sciences Building at the same time each morning,” Flagge said. “As we exited our cars and gathered our belongings, she would shout across the distance between our cars, ‘Hey there, young lady. We're ready for another day.’”
“Though she has been gone for seven years, I can still hear the inflection of her voice, emphasizing ‘young lady’ and that happy ‘ready for another day,’” Flagge said.
While Flagge’s appreciation is extended to a large population on campus, her truest and most sincere appreciation goes to her husband and children for their support of her work with USA students, staff, and faculty. “We all have been blessed by many lasting friendships formed during my time at South Alabama,” she said.
Flagge is ready to begin another chapter in her life. She said she looks forward to spending more time with family, finishing a few projects and traveling.
“My key expression has always been ‘stay tuned,’” she said, chuckling. “If I didn’t know the answer to something right away, that was my response and I always got back to the person.”
Now, as she leaves her USA family, she says “thanks for the memories” and adds her personal signature line, “stay tuned.”
“When I walk out that door, it won’t be the last time by any means,” she said. “That’s what I do – I’m always staying tuned.”
A retirement reception will be held in Flagge’s honor on Feb. 16, 2018, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the USA Faculty Club. We hope you will be able to attend as we celebrate Flagge’s career and offer her best wishes for the future.
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