January 31, 2023, marked a day of mixed feelings at the Department of Philosophy: After almost two decades of exemplary service and unwavering dedication, our graduate administrator Margaret Opoku-Pare for the last time closed her door in the Department of Philosophy to begin her well-deserved retirement. Margaret had joined the department in October 2004, having previously worked for an extended period at the School of Graduate Studies.
Margaret emerged as a pillar of the department: For many years, graduate students, faculty members, and staff came to rely on Margaret’s steady, expert hand and calm demeanor to guide the workings of the Graduate Office according to the highest standards. Not only was she a veritable fount of knowledge when it came to questions of sometimes arcane policy and procedure but she also cared deeply and personally about every graduate student she dealt with. No detail seemed too cumbersome to tackle, no question too mundane to answer with care. “We have to remember,” she always said, “that we are affecting someone’s whole future here.” Accordingly, few people appeared happier than Margaret when students won prestigious awards, successfully defended their dissertations, or began careers in their fields of interest.
Department chair Martin Pickavé perhaps put it best: “She left a mark and made a difference to many lives; first of all to the lives of the graduate students, who were always dear to her; and also to the lives of many faculty members, staff, and academic administrators, who could rely on her deep knowledge, experience, and calm judgment. We will miss her a lot!”
Indeed we will and already do. Thank you, Margaret, from all of us!