Alumni Association director to retire

Past university president Randy Moffett (left) greets retired alumni association director
Kathy Pittman (middle) as he attends her retirement reception with friends and family.
Moffett was president of Southeastern from 2001 to 2008.
The Lion's Roar / Megan Ferrando

Alumni Association director Kathy Pittman will retire at the end of the month after 20 years of service to the university. Pittman was active not only on campus, but also the Hammond area. Her impact on campus and beyond resulted in a large turnout for her retirement reception on Mar. 17.

“I think she really turned the association around,” said son Eric Pittman. “It’s pretty amazing that there’s this many people here, it really shows what impact she had.”

Friends, family and university staff filled the Alumni Association building to honor the hard work Pittman has offered to the university over the years.

“Our alumni are incredibly important for the university in many, many ways,” said President John L. Crain. “Kathy has done a tremendous job of keeping everybody involved and engaged. We’re going to miss her tremendously, but I know she’s going to enjoy retirement. It’s a bittersweet thing today.”

Pittman attended Southeastern herself and was part of the class of 1971. She was involved on campus through various organizations and has continued that involvement in years since. 

“Southeastern has always been a part of my life,” said Pittman. “My dad was a Loyola graduate and he asked me if I wanted to go there. I told him, ‘Absolutely not. I want to go to Southeastern.’”

Pittman has made many friends over the years and was able to see many of them again at her retirement reception. Pittman also credited Homecoming as a special opportunity to see old friends.

“This is one of my fondest moments,” said Pittman. “I’m truly touched and honored that this many people would come. The best part of my job is all the new people I’ve met, and for 20 years I’ve made so many friends because of Southeastern. Homecoming was also always really special to me because everybody would come back and I could see all my friends again.”

According to friend Jackie Dale Thomas, Pittman was a huge factor in getting the alumni involved in Homecoming after football was discontinued in 1985. 

“When Kathy came along and got hired she got the alumni involved in Homecoming again even though it was with the basketball team, which was kind of untraditional,” said Thomas. “She did it the way we do with the students she fed the alumni, and that worked.”

According to former university president Randy Moffett, Pittman drew many people to the university through her efforts and spirit. She not only increased Lion pride on campus, but off as well.

“I think Kathy is probably the most unique personality that I’ve ever known,” said Moffett. “She had the ability to unite the alumni association, she had the ability to create an external image for the university that is extremely positive and draw people in to support the university. She is caring, sometimes stubborn, but she is driven to do things with quality and does it in a way that makes everybody associated with the university proud to be part of Southeastern.”

Many friends and family present at Pittman’s reception acknowledged the impact she had on not only the university, but on their own lives. They had only positive things to say about Pittman:

“When I was little, I always thought that Mrs. Kathy was the most beautiful woman in Hammond. I grew up in Hammond, she was always beautiful and still is.” 

-Frank Rusciano, cousin

 

 “She has influenced me with her dedication, her loyalty and her eagerness in whatever project she takes on. She is just a fantastic person. The spirit that she has, I certainly hope it carries on.” 

– Stella Remble Mathews, friend

 

“I worked with Kathy down at the bank and we just fell in love with each other and just became friends over the years. I’ve known her for about 30 years or so, she’s a good friend to me. She’s a wonderful person. Her personality never changes. She always has a smile, she’s easy to love, easy to get along with.”

– Hebert Wagner, friend

 

“Kathy has been really the spirit of Lion pride. When she came to the campus there was so many things we didn’t have, so many traditions we didn’t have. There was pride day and people weren’t wearing their school colors, so we worked together in the president’s office and we implemented so many things. She’s always energetic. She loves Southeastern. She clearly bleeds green and gold, and she’s just been a fabulous person, generous with her time, big heart and a big spirit.” 

-Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, friend and former university employee

 

Pittman’s influence reached beyond her job description. She will continue to show Lion pride throughout her retirement and spend more time with her family.