Amelia Wolfe has worked at University of Richmond for so long that her colleagues cannot remember her first day here.
From using a locker room with six showers and two urinals as an office to accommodating the press during the 1992 presidential debate, Wolfe has played an integral role in the expansion of the recreation and wellness department.
“She’s really been the backbone of the growth and development of this whole program,” said Tom Roberts, assistant vice president for recreation and wellness.
Wolfe’s recent retirement marks the end of a 24.5-year career as the budget coordinator for recreation and wellness and sports clubs.
“My favorite part about working at UR was by far the students,” Wolfe said. “I never would have stayed if it hadn’t been for the students. You are all the best part of this job.”
When Wolfe first started working in the recreation and wellness department, it consisted of only her and Roberts. The department was composed of only four sports clubs, compared with the current 32, and there was no exercise equipment in the gym. The fitness studio was an old wrestling room and the weight room was a storage closet that today remains a storage closet.
“Already she’s been gone a week, and there’s so many little things that people come to me and ask me, and my response is that I have no idea because I had been used to Amelia doing that,” Roberts said.
Students also feel Wolfe’s absence.
“She’s just so helpful and always there to support you and provide guidance,” said senior Jennifer Billings, sports club president. “I just miss walking upstairs and having my coffee and laughing with her about whatever.” Favorite topics included travel and Wolfe’s nine-month-old granddaughter.
“I know that Amelia meant a lot to a lot of students,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot of students that come in here that need a lot of TLC and that’s something that she’s always given these students.”
Wolfe is also known for helping students in sports clubs when emergencies happen.
“I remember [the crew team] was supposed to go to Charleston and had to cancel at the last minute,” Billings said, “and I was emailing her at 6 in the morning and she was helping me with bus stuff and canceling hotels and everything.
“Amelia has that calm, level-head, we-can-get-anything-done-doesn’t-matter-what-crisis-comes-up attitude.”
Roberts said the recreation and wellness department would not be the same without Wolfe. Throughout her years here, Wolfe has taken on the responsibilities of almost every position in the department.
“With the exception of me, I don’t think anybody will ever realize the impact that she’s had on this university and this department,” Roberts said. “I never knew how much I would miss her because I’ve always had her up until now.”
The new budget coordinator is Karen Turner.
“Amelia’s absolutely fantastic and we will miss her dearly,” Billings said, “but we welcome Karen to the team, and I hope Amelia has a wonderful retirement. She was great. She was awesome. It’s not going to be the same.
“It feels like the end of an era now that she’s gone.”
Contact reporter Danielle Schweizer at firstname.lastname@example.org