Sandy Hutchison (left) and Suzann Workman have such fond memories of the summer and fall of 1989. It was the time when women sported big hair and bigger shoulders, when Morgan Freeman was Driving Miss Daisy, when carpe diem had become a household catch phrase, when Bette Midler was soulfully celebrating the Wind Beneath her Wings and Cher just wanted to Turn Back the Hands of Time. It was also the time when Hutchison, and just three months later, her sister, Workman, came to work at Marshall.
For those who know the sisters, it’s no surprise they both ended up working in the Lewis College of Business, Hutchison as an Administrative Assistant Senior and Workman as an Administrative Secretary Senior in the Accountancy and Legal Environment division. After all, they’re best friends--have been all their lives. They ride to work together, eat lunch together and even live next door to each other, with their mother next door to Workman. It’s a close relationship which has stood the test of time.
“Sandy is my big sister—by three years—and I’ve always followed in her footsteps,” says Workman. And indeed the sisters’ lives have certainly paralleled. Both have lived their entire lives in Lincoln County, graduating from Guyan Valley High School where they were peppy majorettes. Both received associate degrees from Marshall University Community and Technical College-- Associate of Applied Sciences in Legal Secretarial Studies. Each of them has two daughters, with the oldest three of the four excelling in a variety of sports
“I always have followed in my sister’s footsteps ... but it’s worked out really well because she was the one who steered me to Marshall, first to study and then to work here,” Workman says.
After receiving her degree, Hutchison gained experience working for local law firms and later the West Virginia Department of Highways Legal Division before she signed on with Marshall in in the office of Facilities Scheduling. Later she went to the College of Education and Human Services, where she spent eight years before doing a ten-year stint with the Athletic Department in Sports Information. She’s been with the Lewis College of Business approximately a year now and feels it’s a really good fit for her.
“I am the financial manager for all budgets contained within the LCOB, and compile data and reports reflecting activity as such. I assist the Dean, Dr. (Chong) Kim and act as a liaison between him and the faculty. I coordinate with the LCOB Hall of Fame Committee, the annual Hall of Fame Banquet and assist with fundraising activities. I plan and coordinate conference and committee meetings as well as receptions and other functions hosted by the LCOB. In addition, I work closely with the LCOB Advisory Board in fund raising meetings and planning special events.”
Growing up on a farm in Lincoln County left Hutchison with a lifelong passion for the outdoors. She loves nothing more than to hop on a boat and go fishing with family and friends. Her daughters are Kaygan, 19, who received a basketball scholarship to West Virginia Tech, and Morgan, 15, the only freshman girl to start on Lincoln County High School’s varsity softball team this past season. They have inherited their mother’s love of sports and the outdoors. Just keeping up with these two active teens takes up most of Hutchison's free time these days.
“We travel the entire summer as both daughters play on travel teams and we go from the basketball court to a softball field, sometimes both on any given day. My sister, her family and my mother all attend my daughters’ games as well. We support the girls in whatever they want to do. My life pretty much revolves around my daughters and their sporting events,” Hutchison says.
For one week out of the busy summer Hutchison and Workman manage to get away to their favorite vacation destination, the Outer Banks of North Carolina. In addition the whole family takes off to go camping in between athletic events.
Workman’s life pretty much mirrors that of her sister. Her nine-year-old daughter, Raeleigh, has followed in her cousins’ footsteps and excels in both softball and basketball. The whole family, including Hutchison and Workman's mother, Karen Workman, can be found courtside or in the bleachers to watch Raeleigh play as well. Only two-year-old Isabella has yet to choose a sport, but that will come soon enough, Workman says with certainty.
For several years the sisters volunteered to train Little League majorettes and Workman later instructed high school majorettes but, she says, “I don’t do that now, too much movement!” with a laugh.
Last month marked Workman's 21st year at Marshall, all spent in the Lewis College of Business. Actually she started out in the finance division as a work-study student and after graduation stayed on. Today she is busy overseeing the many aspects of the division—working with 13 faculty members, preparing travel and exams, making schedules, taking care of correspondence and working with students.
Workman and her daughters eagerly look forward to the annual family trip to the Outer Banks, a place she’s grown to love so much she plans to head there permanently after she retires. Then there are the big family camping trips with the combined families, made much more convenient now that their mother just this summer bought a 41-foot RV. They’re eagerly testing it out.
The sisters were caught up in the excitement that enveloped the Huntington campus when the film crew for the movie, “We Are Marshall,” came for three weeks in April four years ago. They answered the call for extras and showed up for two crowd scenes. “I’ve looked for us and haven’t seen us, but we’re in there somewhere!” Workman says, laughing.
The two have seen many changes during their tenure at Marshall—new buildings, new programs, new growth. Workman in particular is proud of the recent AACSB accreditation that was granted in 2008 to the Accountancy and Legal Environment Division. It’s a separate accreditation, since the Lewis College of Business has been fully accredited by AACSB for several years, she explains. “It’s a very rigorous accreditation process, very difficult to achieve, so it’s a great accomplishment that this division earned,” she says.
The Lincoln County farm they grew up on and the guidance they received from their mother; their father, who was a minister; and grandfather in learning how to raise livestock as well as cultivate a garden gave the two an enduring love of nature and the outdoors, a tradition they’ve passed on to their daughters. And, Workman adds, “Right now with my daughter’s activities and all of my nieces’ sporting events, I don’t really have time to do much else outside work. But the great thing is I wouldn’t trade our lives for anything!”
Hutchison adds, “Being raised in
the country on a small farm in a small town where everyone knows just about
everyone has been such a blessing, and I’m thankful that I have such a wonderful
and loving family.”
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