By Sonali Basak
“And how may I help you, miss?”
Caroline Hartman stands at the window of the post office in the new Student Center, greeting people with a smile.
July will mark Hartman’s 42nd year working at the University.
She first came to the University to work during her senior year of high school for a two-week program. After she graduated, she came back to work part-time, becoming a full-time worker two months later. She worked first for Publications, Print and Mail, but moved to the Post Office in 1977.
“Back then we used typewriters; there were no computers. We used to type up papers for the students,” Hartman said.
Technology has vastly changed the direction of Publications, Print and Mail, with copy stations all around the school now instead of only in Marts Hall.
“I used to have to remember the names of many, many individuals on campus because that’s how we knew how to sort the mail, and this is where they came for their printing. I’ve seen how the campus has changed throughout the years. I’ve seen Bucknell grow,” Hartman said.
Hartman worked in Marts Hall until this year, when the new post office was built into the Elaine Langone Center Student Space.
“It was hard to move at first. All my family–I call it my family up at Marts–is still at Marts Hall. But it’s lively down here,” Hartman said. Her office looks out to a student space that is filled with students and activity at all working hours. “But I’m a people person. I like working with the students. They make you young.”
Students say they feel inspired by Hartman’s presence in the mail room.
“It’s been much more joyful with her around here,” Evan Kasowitz ’11 said as he and two other seniors working in the mail room joked around with Hartman as a peer. “She tells great stories and shares pictures with us.”
Hartman lives in Cowan with her sister, in the same home she was born in. She tells people she started working when she was three years old. “They say I look so young,” Hartman said, “it’s the only thing that makes sense!”
Hartman said, “When I was young I was taught to stick to a job, and that’s what I’m doing. I enjoy my work. It’s not the same day after day.” The variety that is in her job comes from dealing with different people each day.
When asked upon her favorite memory working at the University, she said that there were too many to point out just one.
“You take each day as it comes, and there are always new, good memories coming,” Hartman said.