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Retirement Comes into Sharp Focus

Lydia Sharp

Administrative Specialist Lydia Sharp Retires After 32 Years

Administrative Specialist Lydia Sharp was hired into UT’s pool for temp workers in April 1988, where she worked in various assignments across campus. In December of that year she was hired by then Department of Nuclear Engineering Head Thomas Kerlin into a permanent assignment supporting the department’s office administration, followed by many title changes over the years. This week she retires after 32 years of service.

Current Department Head Wes Hines spent 25 years with Sharp, the last 10 while he was department head.

“Lydia has been a faithful staff member to the department and the face of the department to entering students for three decades, serving as the academic administrator and department head’s assistant,” said Hines. “She will be deeply missed by the students, staff, and faculty.”

Those who know Sharp know her as a maven of crafting and creativity, which was often expressed in the events she organized for the department, including Professor Kerlin’s retirement party and the 50th anniversary of the department.

Lydia Sharp dressed up as Lily from The Munsters.

Lydia Sharp dressed up as Lily from The Munsters for the inaugural TCE Office Decorating Contest in 2019.

Sharp always made sure that Halloween was a memorable time for the department, and those who saw the office decorations in the inaugural Office Decorating Contest of 2019 saw her stamp of over-top-creative flair.

“For my 60th birthday, I received a T-shirt that said crafting is my therapy,” she said, which highlights one of the main activities she’ll do in retirement. “I have all kinds of plans for retirement. Of course, primary is my crafts.”

Sharp says that the department has been her work home for so many years and will most definitely miss it.

Messages from Sharp’s Peers

While the pandemic prevents us from gathering in person to celebrate Lydia’s retirement, the NE faculty and staff offer some well wishes to send her off.

“Lydia has been a great co-worker and dear friend. I hope she enjoys every day of retirement. She deserves it! I have enjoyed working with her the past 13 years. She will be dearly missed. Best wishes on the next part of her journey in life.” 
— Candy Anderson, Financial Specialist

“Lydia was always there to help me navigate through the myriad of policies and procedures that come with teaching our courses. I appreciate all she did for me and for the department. I will miss her but wish her a happy and well-deserved retirement.”
— Professor Lawrence Heilbronn

“Lydia has been a staple of the UTNE Department for many years. When speaking to alumni of our program, everyone always asked about her. We are thankful for Lydia’s faithful service and commitment to the UTNE Department – and wish her all the best in her retirement!”
— Amanda Lovelace, Professional Advisor

“When I joined UT, about 13 years ago, Lydia was a lifesaver and continued to be extremely helpful to me always. Since she had been at UT and in our department forever, she literally knew everything! Whether it was a question about catalog/course entries, parking passes, tuition assistance for dependents, you name it. I’m sure I’ll have one of those questions next week, next month, and next year. So, I will miss being able to bug her!”
— Professor Ivan Maldonado

“Lydia has always been quick to respond to my admin requests for help in straightening out various issues for me with the campus administration. She is also quick to say thank you when I provide prompt replies to her requests. I have enjoyed my 25 years of interactions with her in the NE Department. She has earned and deserves an enjoyable retirement.”
— Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus Larry Townsend

“Over the years, Lydia made important contributions to the Nuclear Engineering Department. She was always there when you wanted any administrative issue to be resolved quickly. We wish her well and all the best in her retirement.”
— Professor Emeritus Belle Upadhyaya