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WFU School of Law associate director of career services retiring after 31 years

When her grandchildren starting coming along, Faye Fulk began storing their pictures in boxes, telling herself she would make albums out of them one day.

The oldest two grandchildren are heading to college in August.

It’s time to get to those albums.

Fulk, a hub of institutional knowledge and the associate director of career services, will retire May 31 after 31 years in the Wake Forest University School of Law. A reception will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Friday in the IS Building.

“I just need to catch up on some things I’ve been putting off for a long, long time,” Fulk said.

Nobody can question Fulk’s loyalty.

She started at Wake Forest in 1979, after her first husband passed away and with her children already in high school. She worked as faculty secretary for three years before moving to career services (it was called the placement office then).

In the 27 years since, she has worked for six career services directors, serving as interim director each time one left, until the next was hired. She’s a true adapter, moving from paper resumes and personal counseling to computer files and Internet sign-ups.

“Faye’s been the backbone of that office for many, many years,” said Ann Gibbs, associate dean for administrative and student services. “Not everybody can adjust to the many changes that have gone on in 27 years of an academic institution. The technology has changed everything. But she’s tried to use the technology and still provide the personal touch.”

Without the personal side of the job, Fulk probably wouldn’t have remained here this long. That’s her favorite part.

After graduating from Woman’s College (now UNC-Greensboro) with a business certificate in 1959, Fulk worked for an attorney in downtown Winston-Salem. She loved chatting with the clients in the lobby, and soon realized she needed people interaction.

She’s found plenty of that at Wake Forest. Fulk considers her officemates sisters, and feels a definite connection with all the students she’s counseled as they search for a summer or post-law school career.

Fulk designs career plans, assists with the on-campus interview program, welcomes the alums back to Wake Forest when they come back to interview students, makes contacts with law offices in job development, and doing anything necessary to ensure a Wake law graduate is quickly employed after passing the Bar.

“I think they broke the mold when they made Faye – she is an extremely dedicated and loyal employee of the University. Faye is a very caring and kind-hearted person with genuine concern for others,” said Kim Fields, the director of career services and Fulk’s immediate supervisor. “She has great institutional memory and recall. If we need the name of an alumnus in a particular practice area, and they are not listed on file, if we just give her the particular qualifiers, she’ll come up with the name instantaneously.”

Fulk isn’t quite out the door yet. She’s still setting up programs and interviews for students, and her office is hardly packed.

Next to the window, she has pictures of some of her experiences over the last 31years. There’s one of her shooting an M-16 military assault rifle, which she took at a conference with the Marines, where she was learning about the JAG program. There’s another of her in a fighter jet cockpit. And there are several of her with students, co-workers and friends.

She’ll have to find an album for all those memories someday.

But first, she has a few other albums she’s been putting off for years.

– By Michael Graff