As a child, Florence Jandreau remembers peeking through the woods and trees to see the new university in town. At the time, she could have never imagined the impact USF would have on her life or that she would one day retire as the university’s longest-serving non-faculty staff member.
“It’s really just incredible to think back on my career and remember all of the milestones and changes I’ve seen here,” Jandreau said. “USF has certainly become a big part of my life and I will forever be grateful to all the directors, deans and fellow staff members that have made these years so wonderful.”
Jandreau retires July 22 after more than 50 years of service to USF. Her career began in 1971, when she was just 17 years old, working part time in the Registrar’s Office. In those days, USF’s first president, John Allen, was approaching the end of his tenure and the school’s mascot was still in its original form, the Golden Brahman. The university, and its surrounding areas, looked quite different as well. In fact, Jandreau remembers portions of Fowler Avenue that were still unpaved at the time.
After graduating from high school, Jandreau got her first full-time opportunity as a “Clerk 1” in the USF Tampa campus library, which, back then, was housed in what is now the Student Services Building (SVC). It’s in the library that Jandreau would end up finding a whole new world of possibilities.
“I had always considered myself to be a bit of a country girl,” she said. “But when I came to USF and started working in the library, I was able to meet and work with so many different faculty members that I really was exposed to all kinds of research and ideas. I’ve always felt like I was getting my second level of education just by being around all of it.”
Over the years, Jandreau would end up working in a variety of departments, including InterLibrary Loan and Circulation Reserve, but always remained committed to USF Libraries. She remembers the big move to the current Tampa campus library and was a charter member and former president of the USF chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. She’s worked under six USF presidents and has watched the university transform into the national research powerhouse it is today. Eventually, Jandreau would work her way up to the library’s administrative unit. Today, she serves as the senior assistant to the dean, providing critical support to nearly every aspect of library operations, and accomplishing one of her longheld goals.
“Florence has inspired many of us to be better people and better Bulls,” said USF Libraries Dean Todd Chavez. “Her optimism and commitment to USF have made a difference for all of us and the impact of her work will always remain. She has been a friend and valued colleague for my entire time at USF and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with her. We will miss her greatly.”
Retirement is bittersweet, Jandreau says. While she’s looking forward to spending more time with family and friends, volunteering at local animal shelters and cheering on her Tampa Bay Lightning, she says she’s going to dearly miss the people and relationships she’s built at USF.
“It’s been the people that have kept me here for so many years and have made it so hard to retire. It’s truly been a great ride,” she said. “And I can’t wait to see all the things this incredible university accomplishes next.”