Today, Edith Farmer will retire from Case Western Reserve University after 21 years as a building service worker in Thwing Center. But longtime members of the campus community may recall seeing her smile around the building much longer than that.
After all, for eight years, Farmer worked in Thwing Center at University Food Service, which was managed by an outside foodservice provider, before she became a full-time employee at Case Western Reserve.
Since joining the CWRU community, Farmer has worked behind the scenes at Thwing Center preparing meeting spaces and cleaning up the building. Her work was critical to ensuring the busy building was ready for the day—opening its doors in the morning and inspecting every room prior to use.
As Farmer has watched the campus grow over the past 29 years, she’s noticed how Thwing Center has changed as well: The types of events held there have shifted, and some meeting rooms now are classrooms, for example.
Her favorite space in the building is the Cleveland Room, which is a common meeting place for university organizations. From the ornate woodworking to the grand fireplace, Farmer loves the warmth and elegance it conveys—and the memories it holds.
Farmer reflected fondly on the many lunches she shared over the years in the room with coworkers.
The people Farmer met along the years—from coworkers to students—are what she enjoyed most about the university. She loved greeting those who entered the building and giving directions or providing assistance in any way she could.
Every part of her job was about helping others—and now, she hopes to spend her time in retirement extending her impact to her community. In her newly discovered free time, Farmer plans to pursue volunteer opportunities at her church, St. Agnes Our Lady of Fatima, and continue singing in two choirs.
She also looks forward to spending more time with her husband, who is an avid fisherman. He makes his own lures, so Farmer hopes to learn to make them too.
A retirement party will be held for Farmer and Al Hammett, who retired from Thwing Center last month, today from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Jolly Scholar.
Be sure to stop by and wish them well in retirement—but first, check out Farmer’s answers to this week’s five questions.
1. What’s the one place in Cleveland that’s your must-visit for out-of-towners?
I would say the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton because I enjoy sports and music.
2. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received from a teacher?
There are two things: To listen and you will learn. And to be kind.
3. What’s the one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m not as talkative as people think I am.
4. What famous person—past or present—would you most like to have dinner with and where would you go?
The Pope because I think he’s a fascinating person. I’d like to go to Olive Garden.
5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve?
I love how a lot of the sororities [and other student organizations] do so much to help people, like tutoring children and providing a helping hand when needed.