By Jessy Anne Walters
Framed in the wall across from the Hub is the warm smile of Paula Jones, or more commonly known as Ms. Paula.
Happily handing a student their parcel, she calls them by name and asks about their studies and family back home.
“I don’t think Miss Paula can really realize what she gives to students when she gives them mail from home,” said Reba Key, senior and former RA. “She’s giving them a piece of home, but also showing them love.”
Paula Jones, mail services assistant, spends her days receiving mail, sorting mail, and distributing mail to the Trevecca community, all while creating and maintaining relationships with seemingly everyone on campus.
“She is an angle of Trevecca,” said President Boone. “She kind of is a mother figure for a lot of students, in a sense that she can wag her finger in your face if she needs to and then she can put an arm around you and hug you if she needs to. She’s just a great part of Trevecca.”
In June of 1993, Jones came to work at Trevecca Nazarene University in what was then the bookstore and mailroom. Now the mailroom and bookstore are separated, but Jones is still faithfully behind the counter sorting, organizing, and giving.
“I think my work here is pretty important,” said Jones. “People depend on their mail.”
Each morning Jones arrives at her office at eight in the morning, surrounded by photos of her grandchildren and thank you notes from different students, she receives and sorts the mail and then waits for UPS and Federal Express to arrive.
In the past twenty-one years, Jones said that she has seen Trevecca change in positive ways. Not only physical changes – she laughed about the old Chinese food restaurant at the bottom of the hill – but also in other ways. Jones mentioned the community at Trevecca and how the way things are done is constantly changing. She said that she saw the people around her grow into their jobs and change the community of the school in different ways over the years.
Jones said that she has also changed along with Trevecca. She said that when she moved here from northern Virginia she needed to add some “southern honey” to her way of communicating. Laughing she explained that a direct way of talking didn’t always work out well. She said that in her years at Trevecca she grew and changed and in doing so others around her grew and changed.
Another student came up to the window and she had their mail in her hand before even reading the transaction slip.
“Miss Paula brightens my day. She always makes it more exciting when I go to check my mailbox because even if I don’t get mail, I at least get to see her and that makes my day a lot better,” said Timothy Crummer, junior dramatic arts major.
“I think that people want for you to know who they are,” Jones said, sitting down behind her desk dotted with to-do notes with various students’ names on them. “Students come to college with a lot of personal stuff. You don’t know what they are going through that day – they might need to just hear “have a good day” or maybe they just need a hug or a bag of M&M’s”
“We all need to make heroes of people like Miss Paula,” said Boone.
Categories: Stories that need a category