Posted Thursday, January 21, 2021 @ 4:40 PM
by Scott Mauro ’94 & ’19 | January 21, 2021
(Orlando, FL) — One of Student Development and Enrollment Services most involved and recognizable staff members is going to be enjoying the finer things in life soon. Recreation and Wellness Center long-time Administrative Assistant III Joanne McCully, is retiring after 35 years with the university. McCully spent 33 of those years at the RWC.
Joanne began her student affairs career in 1986 in the Music Department where she worked as a Secretary Specialist. She has a passion for music, so it was a perfect fit. Most of her responsibilities involved database management, word processing, record keeping and scheduling. She loved the opportunity to work with students and watching them perform in their recitals.
McCully also loves sports and exercise so when a spot opened in 1988 at the Recreation and Wellness Center, she jumped at the opportunity to become the Office Manager. A year later RWC leadership promoted her to Administrative Assistant. Joanne managed the fitness center, coordinated group exercise classes, and was a key contributor in starting programs the RWC still provides to students today like personal training, and RecFest (which is one UCF’s longest running events).
Through the years UCF has honored McCully for her work and commitment including the 1993 Outstanding Service Award (now the UCF Employee of the Year). In 2015, she was nominated as one of 30 women in the Center of Success off Women Faculty. Joanne has never been afraid to get involved on campus serving on more than 20 committees over the years, “It has been my love to be able to give back to staff and my community through my committees, special programs, and taking HR/Diversity classes to be better person. I took pride in working at UCF!”
McCully served in various officer positions over 12 years on the UCF Staff Council including two stints as President. As a member of the council Joanne spearheaded the RWC’s contributions to the annual campus Toys for Tots drive. She also served on the SDES Support All Staff Involvement (SASI) Committee for a decade.
Joanne has a passion for philanthropy working as a volunteer for the UCF United Way Campaign. In 2013 UCF honored her for her fundraising efforts and commitment to the campaign with the Leadership Spirit-Advocate Award. She organized several events to raise money for United Way including the Spooky Knight 5k Run on-campus. She also Co-chaired the RWC Philanthropy Committee.
McCully worked for four different RWC directors including current Executive Director, Jim Wilkening. He says her impact on students through the years has been immeasurable, “Joanne has certainly left her legacy as somebody who made a difference and was not just the usual administrative assistant. She would take on tasks and lead many initiatives to participate in a healthy lifestyle for all. She will be missed.”
Joanne officially retires Friday, January 29, 2021. She is looking forward to working on her well-being including nutrition and working out. She will also continue her love for volunteerism, gardening (she has a tower garden and raised bed) and traveling nationwide and abroad. Her international bucket list includes countries like Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Scotland. McCully will also continue to spend time with her husband and son who both work at UCF.
McCully says she is proud of the work she has accomplished but points out she could not have done it alone, “I would like to thank everyone who supported and helped me throughout years, from the custodial staff to the VP’s that I have known. I truly hope that I have made an impact at UCF as you have on me.”