A Constant in Times of Change
While many things have changed at Emporia State University in the past 20 years, the support, guidance, and diligence provided by Linda Orear has been constant. Orear, who currently works as an administrative specialist for the School of Business, started her career at Emporia State University on January 28th, 1994.
Orear started her professional life the day after she graduated from Northern Heights High School, just 20 miles from Emporia. She started working at a local bank and building a foundation for her future.
“The bank was a great start for me because I got to learn about a lot of different business principles — finances, customer service, budgeting, day-to-day operations, and so on,” said Orear. “I used that as a base of knowledge to build on when I went to my next job with a utilities company, followed by a manufacturing company, and then an accounting office, and then to Emporia State.
“I started part-time as a secretary for the director of the M.B.A. program, which at the time was Dr. (Don) Miller. Emporia State was the number one place to work in the Emporia area. Not only because of the benefits offered, but also because of the environment. It’s always been an exciting place to be.”
Dr. Miller, now a professor in the School of Business, said, “Linda possesses considerable experience and knowledge related to the field of business. In addition, she has a splendid personality and gets along well with others. I am quite fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with her; indeed, she is both a wonderful person and talented colleague.”
While at Emporia State University, Orear has split her time between the School of Business and the Office of Distance Education.
Her favorite part about working on campus?
“The students,” she said. “It’s always fun getting to know students each year, getting to meet their families, and watching them mature and graduate. Sometimes I feel like I even take on a ‘mothering’ role.”
Many students, especially the student workers in the School of Business, know they can go to Orear for just about anything.
“They come when they have questions about their classes, about the School of Business, or when they aren’t sure where to go, or who to talk to,” said Orear.
Orear’s 20 years on campus have certainly prepared her to answer most of those questions.
One of the students Orear supervises, Travisray Salyers, said, “Linda played a big role in helping me transition to Emporia State this year. Since this was my first year on campus, I had a lot of questions and I came to Linda with just about all of them. She knows so much about Emporia State and goes out of her way to help everybody.”
When recalling the biggest changes over the years, Orear said, without hesitation, “The technology. Switching from the Mainframe over to Banner, and learning how to use the different systems has probably been the change that affected me the most. Moving to a more secure system changed the way I did most of my job duties; running various reports, bookkeeping, getting student data, preparing rosters for classes, etc. The way we communicated with students changed too.”
Along with technology, Orear has enjoyed watching the campus transform.
“Renovations have also been a big change. Plumb Hall, Memorial Union, even some of the classrooms here in the School of Business. Getting to be a part of the dedications are always fun and watching students benefit from the changes is encouraging. It’s nice to watch the campus move forward.”
When she’s not working, Orear enjoys spending time with her husband, two “ornery” boys and her current and future daughter in-laws.
“When the boys were growing up we traveled to just about every little town, going to ranch rodeos. We still love watching those when we get the chance. I’ve also picked up scrapbooking. It’s a great way to hold onto our memories.”
Orear has certainly created many memories at Emporia State University and is included in the memories of countless students, faculty, and fellow staff members. When asked how long she will be at Emporia State University, Orear chuckled and replied, “Probably forever!”
Needless to say, there will be many memories to come.