Negrette says goodbye after 25 years
Posted Oct. 10, 2008
Walter Mansilla
Michael Nunez, director of campus safety and transportation, delivers a speech of appreciation at the retirement reception for Henry Negrette on Oct. 2. Negrette is retiring after 25 years of service to the campus safety and transportation department. Nunez also presented Negrette with a fishing pole as a retirement gift.

Natalie Veissalov
Staff Writer

Close to 40 friends, colleagues and family members gathered in the President’s Dining Room to congratulate Henry Negrette, campus safety transportation and security coordinator, on his retirement and to wish him well.

Negrette has a medical condition which caused him to retire earlier than expected after 25 years of assisting the University of La Verne’s students, administrators and faculty.

“When I turned in my retirement papers to the University, I started crying because this was the best place to work,” Negrette said.

“I have seen a lot of changes,” Negrette said. “I have seen people come and go.”

Michael Nunez, director of campus safety, said a few words at the reception and gave Negrette a goodbye gift.

“He’s been at ULV for a quarter of a century helping people,” Nunez said. “We are very fortunate he has touched our lives.”

Negrette’s kind-hearted personality has impacted the lives of many people at ULV.

“Since I have been here, Henry has always been warm, welcoming and open to students, faculty and staff,” Nunez said. “He is going to be missed.”

Negrette’s role as a campus safety officer was to patrol the campus, answer phone calls from students and faculty to open or close doors and write parking citations.

He was available to students and administrators to answer any questions they had.

He also acted as the link between the police and fire departments and the University, according to Nunez.

Before Negrette became a campus safety officer, he was the University’s shuttle bus driver.

He would pick up students and drive them to different locations for field trips or sporting events.

When campus safety became short of personnel, he offered to be a campus safety officer, according to Laura Avalos, campus safety transportation coordinator.

“I see him, not as an employee, but as a father,” Avalos said. “He is someone I respect a lot.”

Negrette, a La Verne native, received his bachelor’s degree in organizational management from ULV in 1994.

Many of Negrette’s colleagues and friends at the retirement reception had much to say about the kind of person he is.

“Henry was a nice, friendly face we saw in the morning,” said Cindy Rolsen, office coordinator for the education department. “He always helped us with unlocking the doors.”

“His retirement has been a long time coming,” Negrette’s cousin Peter Gutierrez, said. “But he is going to miss this place because he’s been here for a long time.”

“He rescued me by opening the door for me,” said Judith Stillwell, director of property, budget and financial information. “It is sad to see him retire.”

“I am really sad that Henry is gone,” said Janice Sullivan, administrative assistant in the communications department. “He was always positive and a wonderful person to work with.”

One of Negrette’s favorite hobbies is fishing, which he has done for more than 40 years.

He plans to do some fishing during his retirement years.

“I haven’t fished in more than a year,” Negrette said. “I miss fishing in the ocean.”

Now that he is retired, Negrette will be able to spend time with his wife Roberta, a third grade teacher at Ekstrand School in the Bonita Unified School District, and with their two cats.

“I sometimes volunteer at the school where my wife teaches and help her in her classroom,” Negrette said.

“I loved working at ULV,” Negrette said. “I like the people and the hometown atmosphere.”

Natalie Veissalov can be reached at natalie.veissalov@laverne.edu.

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