Associate dean Bumpus to retire in June

Chelsea Hoag, Campus Carrier Managing Editor

Associate dean of students Julie Bumpus will be retiring from Berry June on 31 and assistant dean of students for residence life Lindsey Taylor will take her place earlier that month. 

A graduate from the University of Tennessee, Bumpus has worked as the associate dean of students for 10 years and began her career at Berry as the assistant dean of the Campbell School of Business. When Carol Willis, former associate vice president for student affairs, resigned in September 2004, dean of students Debbie Heida began to search for her replacement within. Bumpus applied, beginning a career that has impacted many students, faculty and staff.

                                                                                            Photo by Mary Cate Grimes
Associate dean of students Julie Bunpus has been at Berry for 15 years and will retire
June 31.  She hopes to spend more time with friends and family, especially her
mother who still lives in Nashville, Tenn. 

During her time as the associate dean of students, Bumpus has overseen the judicial board, SOAR, A New Year, A New You (ANY/ANY) and the annual Multiple Sclerosis (MS) walk.

ANY/ANY program coordinator junior Hayley Royal said Bumpus has been a role model during her time at Berry.

“Not only has she provided me with the great opportunity of my current job position, but she has greatly helped along the way to make my days more enjoyable in the office,” Royal said. “Through knowing her, I have learned how to be not only a better student worker and leader, but a better person overall.”

Royal met Bumpus at SOAR.

“Since the day I met her, I knew that she was friendly and very personable, and I think Berry will lose a little charisma once she has gone,” Royal said.

Director of recreation Michael McElveen has been at Berry for a year and worked with Bumpus on ANY/ANY.

“Her ability to easily switch roles from consultant, to advocate, to leader and so on in order to get the job done is an invaluable skill,” McElveen said.

McElveen said he is “forever grateful” and thanks Bumpus for helping him transition and for “always being there for support.”

                                                                                Photo contributed by Raven Wilson
Julie Bumpus speaks with baseball head coach David Beasley before throwing the first
pitch before the game against Centre College April 3. 

“Dean Bumpus’ work and impact will remain on-campus long after her retirement. She is a true asset to the Berry community,” McElveen said. “The biggest loss will be to those current and future students that didn’t have the opportunity to interact and learn from her.”  

SGA president senior Paton Roden said Bumpus played a vital role in her Berry experience.

“She’s the one who always pushed me to do my best,” Roden said. “She encouraged me constantly and helped me feel confident about what path to take. I never left a conversation with Dean Bumpus not feeling wonderful.”

Roden said Bumpus leaves an impression on students, “whether she realizes it or not,” the moment they meet her at SOAR.

Royal and assistant program director of ANY/ANY sophomore Rachel Flatt said they remember Bumpus dancing to a game on the Wii at the Health and Wellness Fair last fall.

“She will do practically anything for students to have fun,” Royal said.

Bumpus said when students are asked why they love Berry, they usually say, “D-hall cookies.”

“I’ve never had a D-hall cookie, but I can say this has been a wonderful journey,” Bumpus said. “It’s like driving into a national park everyday.”

Bumpus said she cares deeply about the Berry community.

“I love everyone here at Berry and I truly mean the word ‘love,’” Bumpus said. “Even working within conduct (issues), the kids have always been polite and respectful during the process.”

Not wanting to be stagnant after Berry, Bumpus applied to Publix two weeks ago.

“I love veggies,” Bumpus said. “I’ve always been impressed with the customer service there and I’d love to work about three days a week stocking and helping people.”

One of the main reasons for Bumpus’ retirement is the desire to spend more time with her family, especially her mother, who just celebrated her 90th birthday.

Bumpus smiled and pointed to a photo on her phone of her family and mother standing in the middle, sporting a pink pantsuit she bought at Rome’s JCPenney.

Bumpus said she visits her mother every week and will be able to visit their Nashville hometown more often after retirement. 

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