Editor’s Note — This is part of a Women’s History Month series featuring women who make a positive impact on the campus community through their work as office/service employees. The Women of Service series is organized by the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women. Stories will run in Nebraska Today through March 30.
Nebraska’s Lola Young has 38 years of experience serving as an office/service employee — a depth of experience that makes her the “go-to” source for university-related information.
Truth be told, Young has worked for a total of 41 years at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She held office/service roles for the formerly mentioned 38 years, but her current position as the business associate with the Nebraska Forest Service shifted to managerial/professional in 2019. The commission allowed Young to be a part of this series as the vast majority of her work on campus has been in office/services roles.
Young’s nominator, Darla Huff, office associate with the Nebraska Forest Service, said everyone who meets Young remembers her big smile and caring personality.
“Lola is fondly known by our team as the ‘go-to’ for most things regarding the university,” Huff said. “She is helpful, caring, resourceful and happy to offer service no matter the task.
“She performs above and beyond, and does so willingly and cheerfully.”
Young also takes it upon herself to provide support and service to fellow employees, discerning individual needs and using her experience to efficiently provide resources and assistance. She is active in helping lead professional organizations and is consistently the first to cheer colleagues on when individual successes are earned.
“She is a fantastic teammate, always cheerful and quick witted, and diligence and loyalty to the university have endeared her to her colleagues,” Huff said. “Lola is a true champion for higher education with a tireless commitment to serving our university.”
The Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women reached out to get to know Young and learn more about her dedication to students, faculty and staff at Nebraska U. Her interview follows.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m the youngest of six and most of my upbringing was in McCool Junction. Ralph, my husband of 43 years, and I live with our two cats on an acreage east of Lincoln. We have two amazing sons, Ramsey (an instructional technology teacher at Millard West High School) and Wesley (an engineer with Olsson here in Lincoln), and two beautiful grandkids (Rowan, age 7 and Ayla, age 5). Our daughter-in-law, Sarah, teaches in Elkhorn. I enjoy staying active in my professional associations, having served as president of the University of Nebraska Office Professionals Association, Nebraska Educational Office Professionals Association, and the National Association of Educational Office Professional.
Currently I advise four NAEOP board members, serve on the NEOPA Board of Directors, serve as president of NEOPA Past Presidents, and am chairman of the PSP Endowment Fund Committee.
What do you look forward to when you come to work?
I am fortunate to work with some very special people. Personally, I feel I have the best boss on campus (John Erixson). My office is a private office and I have 40+ years worth of cherished mementos from co-workers, employees and my associations decorating my little piece of campus. I enjoy what I do which primarily consists of working with financial documents related to cost-share grants for volunteer fire departments and landowners across Nebraska.
What is your favorite memory at the university?
There are so many it’s difficult to choose. I do love surprises and on my 50th birthday some of the students who worked for me (I supervised the desks at the Cather-Pound-Neihardt residence hall complex at the time) and my oldest son, who also worked on campus, pulled off a surprise birthday party. He brought me roses and I cried happy tears.
What is your life like outside of work?
I love to tat (creating decorative mats/doilies by tying knots in thread to form lace) and I spend a lot of time doing so. I also like to read and crochet, but don’t devote as much time to those hobbies. Living on an acreage comes with a lot of chores including care of my many flowers. As well, I love to spend time with our kids and grandkids. Sadly we haven’t been able to do as much of that over the past two years due to COVID-19 restrictions.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I received a scholarship and graduated from Floral Technology and Design school — which is no longer in existence.