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Alumni Relations coordinator retires after 24 years

Lynne Irion, alumni relations co-ordinator, is retiring after nearly 24 years at Brock University. She’s seen here in front of the Student-Alumni Centre, for which she helped with the fundraising campaign. It was a take stock moment that Lynne Irion couldn’t ignore.The alumni relations co-ordinator was standing in the parking lot near the Plaza building and site of the Cairns Complex two years ago when she noticed she couldn’t see a single building that was on campus when she started working at Brock 22 years earlier.Irion’s view of the Schmon Tower, Mackenzie-Chown Complex and Welch Hall was blocked by newer buildings and one thought became clear.“It was at that point that I thought ‘You know, this is not my place anymore,’” Irion recalled. “That’s not a bad thing. It’s wonderful how the University has grown.”Still, that moment helped Irion decide when it would be time to pack in her career at Brock. After nearly 24 years of holding various jobs and titles with Alumni Relations, she will take one last look at how much the campus has changed on Friday, her last day of work before retiring.“I’m excited to go,” Irion said. “I’m really excited to move on to the next leg of my journey.“I thought these last few days, I’d have nothing to do. That’s not going to be the case,” she said, adding she’s finishing up last minute projects. “I’m not going to be twiddling my thumbs.”Avoiding idle hands is what landed Irion a job at Brock in the first place.After moving to Niagara from England in the late 1980s, Irion saw an ad for a computers course.She signed up for a two-week crash course and excelled, much to her own surprise. Her teachers recognized they had an ace and encouraged Irion to do a co-op placement.“And I came to Brock,” she said. “And I’m still here. I never really had plans to work. That wasn’t part of the deal. I just wanted to learn how to use a computer.”Irion enjoyed the social aspect of working as much as the job itself.When she started at Brock, there were only about 6,000 students, which made it easy to get to know the people she would stay in touch with for years after they graduated, even attending weddings of alumni and the christenings of their children.“You walked through the halls and no one was a stranger,” Irion said. “I liked that.”In retirement, Irion has plans to take stock of other locales, visiting family in England and taking a cruise, she hopes, from Spain to Florida. Catching up on her reading is also tops on her retirement to-do list – that and reporting for duty to no one but herself, she said.“That’ll be the best part – being able to do what I want to do.”Join Lynne as she celebrates her retirementWhen: Friday, Sept. 21, 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.Where: Alumni Pub Night at The Mansion House, 5 William St., St. CatharinesAlso, a farewell open house happens Wednesday, Aug. 15, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Alphie’s Bistro. For more information, email [email protected] read more