Ann Rives, business services coordinator in the NC State Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies retired on February 1, 2022 after almost 42 years in the department.
Newly graduated from Peace College with an Associate of Science degree in Business, Rives joined the department as a clerk typist III in June 1980. Her responsibilities included student services, typing faculty members’ scholarly work (for computers and word-processing were still in their childhood), other aspects of faculty support and general office work. Rives was promoted to the senior staff position in the department when she was appointed department secretary in 1984. Over the years, her responsibilities changed; she had a number of promotions; her job became ever more complicated; and she went through several job titles, including secretary, executive assistant and, most recently, business services coordinator. A superb departmental administrator, Rives worked with six heads and interim heads of the department, starting with Robert S. Bryan.
In Fall 1990, Rives began taking courses at NC State as a non-degree student. She became a part-time major in Religious Studies in Spring 1996, and graduated Summa Cum Laude in May 2002 with a B.A. in Religious Studies and a minor in History. She was also inducted into two academic honor societies, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi.
As the senior member of the department’s administrative staff, Rives had a wide range of responsibilities. She implemented all aspects of the department’s administrative procedures in HR, making important contributions to searches for and appointments and promotions of faculty and staff and to the post-tenure review of faculty. She managed the department’s budget and spending plan, keeping track of its financial commitments, balancing the books and advising the head on resources available to address department needs. Among many other tasks, she also managed the department’s administrative office; saw to it that all departmental computers and other equipment were in good working order and were replaced when necessary; assisted students; organized departmental events; assisted with the organization and running of conferences; dealt with innumerable inquiries; and coordinated with administrative staff in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and across the university.
Unlike any other Business Services Coordinator, Rives also served as the department’s scheduling officer, a job that she did for over thirty years. Drawing on her own experience as a student at NC State, she went out of her way as scheduling officer to ensure that our students always had access to a selection of courses that allowed them to satisfy their degree requirements efficiently.
On January 14, the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies held a Zoom event to celebrate Ann Rives’ remarkable career. Several current and former faculty members, speaking for themselves as well as on behalf of others, expressed their gratitude for everything she had done for them and for the department, including not only supporting them way beyond the call of duty while they were on the job, but also advising them on local resources when they first joined the department and helping them settle in to their new homes and find their way around Raleigh. She was praised for her ability to train department heads and help them to avoid many potential pitfalls, as well as for playing a pivotal role in keeping the department running effectively during difficult times. Ann Rives was, as several speakers mentioned, the heart and soul of our department. We wish her an enjoyable and rewarding retirement, but we are really going to miss her.