A Friendly Face Bids Farewell after 10 Years - Trudy Andrews Retires from Dining Center

Trudy with her coworker Jenny Skull. They worked together for years.
Trudy with her coworker Jenny Skull. They worked together for years.
Written by Olivia Schultz

Trudy Andrews came to work at UMD as a cashier in 2011. Since then, she has had a lasting impact on countless students and became a friend to many who have gone through UMD.

Andrews was born and raised not far from Duluth. She grew up in the township of Gnesen where she attended grade school, as well as attending Washington Junior High School and Duluth Central. Andrews was married, lost her husband in 1995 from lung cancer, and she has a son and a daughter. Before coming to UMD, Andrews had worked at Woolworth’s, Bridgeman’s, for Avon, Super One, been a housekeeper, and a breakfast manager at Comfort Suites Hotel in Canal Park. Andrews shares that, “All of these places taught me something different and was an experience I am glad I had.”

Andrews recounts how, “When I was interviewed for this job, they stressed to me how they wanted a grandma-type person who loved kids and made them feel welcome at UMD. I love kids and people in general, so I knew this job was for me, and the rest is history.” Andrews was just beginning her 11th year working at UMD when she got the opportunity to retire. She explains how there were so many experiences with students and her co-workers that she is thankful for and will never forget. Andrews credits her work ethic and love for people from being raised on a farm and having the great parents that she had. 

There are many people that Andrews has had a lasting impact on. Corbin Smyth, associate vice chancellor of Student Life, summed it up well, "For students who lived on campus during the last decade, knowing and interacting with Trudy is something they all have in common. They had different friends, different classes, different experiences, and attended UMD in different years - but they all had the opportunity to be blessed with having Trudy as a friendly face in the DC. We are all lucky to have had that and appreciate Trudy so much!"

Her manager in the Superior Dining Center at UMD, Carolyn Anderson, also had many kind words about Andrews, “She truly cared about the students. She got to know them all quite well. She’d worry about them when they were struggling with tests or when she knew they were down, she’d try to be encouraging”. When asked what about Andrews people seem to appreciate most, Anderson’s response was, “Because she was the face of the dining center. That’s what she was known by. She was the first face the students saw when they entered the DC, and she made them all feel welcome.”

Jason Baltz from the football program coming in to say goodbye.
Jason Baltz from the football program coming in to say goodbye.

A group of students who got to know Andrews well throughout the years was the UMD Football team. Anderson recounted how, “The football team LOVED Trudy!!! They honored her on the field several times!” One player who now works for the UMD Football program made sure to stop by and wish Trudy the best on her last day working at UMD. Jason Balts, member of the Bulldog Football coaching staff, who knew Trudy well when he was a player and kept in touch with her after graduation, explained how, “She's genuine and cares about people. You can see it in the way she works every day.” Balts shared a story of a time that Andrews left a great impression on him, “I was on crutches soon after meeting Trudy - she was quick to help me find someone to assist me. She always took care of anyone that came through the dining room doors.” 

Andrews shared some final farewell words: 

“I know I am really going to miss the kids and getting up early in the morning to start my day here with the kids and my great co-workers that have all become my friends, but I think it is time. I am 75 years old and would love to enjoy my kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids when I can still try to keep up with them!! I want to thank UMD for hiring me and giving me this chance in life.”

Trudy Andrews was the first face that many people saw when coming into the Dining Center. Even though she is leaving, her kindness and care will be remembered by many.

This story was written by UMD student Olivia Schultz, who is majoring in Human Resource Management with a minor in Communication. Olivia works as a student worker in Alumni Relations and works in the Office of Admissions as a Tour Guide Coordinator.