In 1983, this university hired a woman to work in the campus bookstore. She was expected to be just another employee. Little did they know that by hiring her, they would be brightening the lives of thousands of students, faculty and staff.
The woman is Jeannett Jones and for the last 27 years, she has worked in the campus bookstore.
Jones has worked about every job there is in the bookstore. She has worked in receiving, book buy backs and even packaged books to be sent back to distributors.
“I remember my bishop asking me if I wanted to work,” said Jones. “I said yes, and he hired me. I’ve worked about every job there is here.”
But it is the of greeter, which Jones has held for the last 15 years, and where she has had the biggest impact. Standing at the entrance to the bookstore and smiling at everyone she sees, Jones has transformed a simple job into a breath of kindness on a hectic campus.
“I love to smile,” said Jones. “This job makes me feel like I’m important because I love everybody here.”
One co-worker, Nancy Parker, has known Jones for 25 years. Parker described Jones as hard-working, punctual and always concerned for others – especially the students.
“I remember one student that graduated and on her last day came by to see Jeannett specifically and thanked her for her kindness over the years,” said Parker. “She’s a bright shining light in people’s eyes.”
Another co-worker, Stephanie Healy, also remembers Jones as being dedicated, on time and having a love for her job in the bookstore. Healy also remembers the first time she noticed something special about Jones.
“I had just started and I remember all of these cute young men coming in everyday to say ‘hi’ and give her a hug,” said Healy. “That’s when I thought, I want to be like her.”
Jones’s influence and kindness are not just limited to her co-workers. She has brightened the days of countless students with her trademark smile and hospitality. Grethchen Palmer, a senior at UVU, recounts Jones’ impact on her time here at UVU as well.
“She’s so sincere and you can tell she cares about the students,” said Palmer. “It was a pleasure just to walk by her, even if I was just cutting through the bookstore.”
Jones’s 27 years of service came to an end on Friday, Nov. 12, when she retired from UVU. A party was held in her honor on Friday, Nov. 12 at noon. Guests enjoyed cake and ice cream and a chance to see the smiling face at UVU one last time.
“I have a book that I started in 1983,” said Jones. “I wrote down every day that I worked and how long I worked for 27 years. It’s actually about four books now. I would work forever if I could.”