Ms. Reid Retires From the Harvey Library After Almost 60 Years
director of the Harvey Library, at Reid’s retirement party on April 15.
Cora Mae Reid, Hampton University Class of 1944, has been a staple here on campus her entire life. Reid was born at HU, and now, after nearly 60 years of employment has officially retired. The Student Connection took a minute to sit down with this living legacy to learn more about her story.
Cora Mae Reid was born a Hamptonian – literally. Reid was born on the third story of a house here at Hampton University. The little yellow house still stands right behind what is now the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.
Her grandfather graduated in 1877 and her father in 1909 who later taught at the trade school. Between her father and grandfather cumulatively sharing more than 50 years involvement with the university, Reid originally had no desire to attend HU, stating that “enough Reids had already attended Hampton.” But by 1944 she found herself graduating with a degree in home economics.
After teaching four-year-olds in Baltimore and New York City for a number of years, she returned to her “Home by the Sea” in 1951 to teach at the lab school. The next year, she began working as a library clerk in the cataloging department. Since then, she’s been a staple at the university. April 15, 2011, marked her official retirement date.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working here or else I wouldn’t have stayed. People have been so nice,” said Reid.
“Cora Mae Reid has been the quintessential Hamptonian. She was born here, she was educated here, and she has spent an amazing number of years giving back to her alma mater. I have been pleased to have her serve as a colleague and a true asset to the University and its history", said HU President Dr. William R. Harvey.
At her retirement party in the Harvey Library on April 15, Library Clerk Iris Austin explained that Reid is a “walking encyclopedia for HU.” Said Austin, “A day without your smile is a day without sunshine.”
“I adore you Ms. Reid. On this day, I feel special to know her and thank the Creator for placing her in my life,” said Gladys Bell, librarian for the HU Peabody Collection. “She is not just an inner and outer beauty queen. She’s a real woman.”For Donzella Maupin of the HU Archives, Reid has always been there for her ever since she began in 1981. “She leaves a legacy. She is a kind, loving person.”
-Alison L. Phillips