College celebrates retirement of longtime admin Bonnie Eshelman

The College of Engineering and Technology sent longtime administrative assistant Bonnie Eshelman into retirement with a virtual party on Thursday.

Eshelman has spent 25 years and 10 months at the college, working for seven deans in the process. She was on the ground floor as the School of Industry and Technology transformed into a college with four departments, two centers, its own advising staff and thousands of students.

Bonnie Eshelman, left, longtime administrative assistant in the College of Engineering and Technology, opens a card next to Dr. Harry Ploehn, dean of the college, during her virtual retirement celebration on Thursday in the atrium of the Science and Technology Building. Eshelman is retiring after working in the college for 25 years and 10 months. (ECU Photo by Ken Buday)

“I’ve enjoyed it,” Eshelman said. “I enjoyed what I did. We are a family.”

Eshelman said she doesn’t have huge plans in her retirement.

“We’ll do some things around the house and travel some,” she said. “We have some grandchildren we’d like to see in Texas.”

Dr. Harry Ploehn, dean of the college, said he would miss Eshelman’s dedication to the college, work ethic and laugh.

“It’s not just about doing her job. It’s about doing whatever needed to be done,” Ploehn said in describing Eshelman. “Bonnie will make sure the job gets done and that it gets done right.”

A small, socially-distanced group attended the ceremony in the atrium of the Science and Technology Building while others joined the ceremony online, with Ploehn holding up a computer so participants could get a close-up look at the retirement gifts.

In her role, Eshelman handled everything from human resources questions, scheduling and college events to meetings with the dean’s office staff — and the occasional odd request from faculty or students.

“I’m going to miss Bonnie tremendously,” Ploehn said. “She keeps me and the whole college on track.”

— By Ken Buday