"Ask Rae Ellen! She'll know!" was a phrase commonly heard around the president's office when Rae Ellen Smith, now Rae Ellen Pfeifer, was administrative assistant to the president and the center of knowledge.
Pfeifer will again become the center of attention at 11 a.m. this Saturday from her position as Grand Marshal of the Homecoming Parade, leading a train of floats, cheerleaders, Tiger Debs, Homecoming Royalty and dignitaries down Main Street.
" Being Grand Marshal and leading the entire university's parade is a great honor," said Suzanne Klaus, university webmaster.
Pfeifer, a Russell native, began her 28-year tenure at FHSU in 1971 as a clerk typist in the university's Office of Information Services, now University Relations. Before that, she served in the Kansas State University student publications office for four years.
Shortly after Dr. Jerry Tomanek was inaugurated as president of FHSU in 1976, she began working as the presidential administrative assistant, eventually serving under Dr. Edward Hammond until retiring May 8, 2000.
Pfeifer said that both presidents were great to work for. She had the opportunity to get to know them and their families and will always remember them fondly.
" Rae has been a loyal and faithful servant to the university for many years," said Hammond. "I'm honored that I have had the privilege of working with her."
After retiring from the fast-paced administrative lifestyle of working full time and raising three boys, Pfeifer embarked on a new journey: making time for herself.
Pfeifer married high school sweetheart Herb Pfeifer on Aug. 12, 2000.