by Mariah Parker, Multimedia Editor
This fall, May graduate Libba Miano will take over Pat Willever’s position as Assistant Manager of the College Press as Willever enters retirement.
“Once I found out about the printing presses downstairs, I was itching to be an apprentice,” says Miano. “I have big, one-of-a-kind shoes to fill, for sure.”
Willever and her husband, Bruce, came to Warren Wilson in August 1998. Their daughter, Keri Willever, had just graduated from Wilson in 1995, receiving WWC’s first degree in Outdoor Leadership. Upon their arrival, Bruce and Pat managed the St. Clair Guest House. Pat received appointment as Assistant Manager of the College Press in 1999 and has since directed communication between the College Press and the greater community, produced large annual projects like the Student Handbook and the MFA Facebook, and supervised the training of new crew members.
A 2008 graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts, Libba Miano began her Wilson work career on the HVAC Crew before joining Willever at the College Press in 2009. As she described her College Press experience in her first crew evaluation, “My feet are always moving, my hands are always busy, and my heart feels full of the knowledge of what I’m doing for my school and the people in it. I love what I do.”
Miano has stayed with the College Press ever since.
“[The College Press is] my home place,” she says. “I seem to always migrate there on my down time. I joke that I live at the College Press, because my feet just gravitate there!”
(Miano even admits to sleeping in the crew’s Radio Flyer wagon after working late one night.)
“Bob [Lamb, College Press Manager], Pat, and I share a special bond,” says Miano. “They are epic bosses, full of heart and gusto. We’re family!”
Willever admits sharing a similar connection with the students she had encountered during her thirteen-year stint. She touts having hiked with students to the top of Mt. LeConte, sharing holidays with students, and teaching Japanese students the secrets of American cuisine.
“I’ve always felt that listening to, caring about, and supporting our students is both my real job and my real joy,” says Willever. “I haven’t wanted to take the role of a parent, a grandparent, a friend, or even a boss to our students. I don’t think ‘mentor’ is exactly the right description either. I’ve really just wanted to be here to provide whatever they need from me – a positive learning environment at work, encouragement, availability, and sometimes just Kleenex.”
Willever plans to continue her close association with the campus community and is excited about taking tickets at the Swannanoa Gathering concerts and spending more time with her five-year-old grandson, Everette.
“The students have taught me so much and made being at work a challenge, a blessing, and often a whole lot of fun,” says Willever. “They’ve made this the best job I’ve ever had.”