The office of student activities is flooding in and out with students, each of them trying to get a moment of Saundra Inge’s time. Some come in to get papers signed and approved for events, others are there just to say hello. Her office desk is covered with papers; it seems that she is busier than ever. On the side table, her walking cane rests.
Nov. 30 marks the day that Florida A&M will lose a critical piece to the FAMU Student Government Association puzzle. Saundra Inge, Director of Student Activities, will be retiring after 35 years of commitment to the orange and green.
“I just love being around young folks. I think that’s what it is most of all. I never grew up really,” Inge said.
So much time and dedication was spent at FAMU that it even affected her home life.
“My husband said I never knew that I was supposed to go home before dark. I listened sometimes and sometimes I didn’t listen,” said Inge. “My children laugh and tease about it now but they’re older. They said, ‘Well, she’ll do whatever for you as long as one of those students don’t call first.’ I think they liked it when students would say, ‘Your mama helped me,’ so then that made them feel good.”
Inge held a multi-faceted role in the Office of Student Activities. She taught swimming lessons in the university’s summer program and worked in financial aid before moving on to student activities. Over the years, Inge has received numerous awards, including advisor of the year, and has been recognized by a variety of clubs and organizations on campus.
Quintin Haynes, 21, a public administration student from Rockledge Fla., has known Inge since his freshman year.
“What I will miss most about her is her thought process and her willingness to get things done and make it happen,” said Haynes. “I think student activities won’t be the same.”
Tera Waldo, a sociology and Spanish student from Eustis, Fla., has been Inge’s assistant for four years.
“I’ve learned so much from her. She’s helped me develop into the young lady that I am,” said Waldo. “I love her and I’m so thankful to have her as a boss and as a friend. I wish her the best in all of her future endeavors in life.”
With all the free time that will soon be available for Inge, there is one thing that she looks forward to the most.
“I’ve been thinking about buying a swimming pool now for maybe about 40 years and I haven’t bought it yet,” said Inge. “Every time I have the money I do something else with it. But I said I’m still going to get it.”
So far, no one has been chosen to take Inge’s place.