Feb. 6, 2017
Decorative solar dancing animals are the first thing people notice when they walk into Beth Roberts’ office in the Division for University Advancement. She uses them as ice-breakers for conversations she has when people drop by her office.
“I keep them in the window, they do their little dance and they get dusted a couple of times a year,” she said. “Besides, I’m not good with plants.”
The solar animals will remain a fixture in her office for a while, she said. Roberts ’80, ’05M has no plans to retire after 26 years at UNCW.
“It has been a lot of fun and I have learned a lot,” Roberts said. “I don’t know of any other place where I would have had such a well-rounded life. There are so many opportunities to participate in the community and be a lifelong learner.”
Roberts has worked with various departments and divisions across campus. She began her career in the biology department as an administrative secretary in 1991. Over time, her career shifted to focus on numbers.
“It happened when I was working in the Randall Library,” she recalled. “The budget manager had left and I kind of fell into that position. I enjoyed working with budgets and working with people to maintain their budgets.”
After 16 years with the library, she accepted a position as the assistant to the business officer within the Cameron School of Business. “I told them I felt like I came home, because I have a degree in business from UNCW,” she said.
Roberts later sought a new challenge, joining the university’s Budget Office. “I saw how overwhelming the budget on a university scale really is and how important it is to be fiscally responsible because the taxpayers and donors expect us to take care of their money,” she added.
Now she is the business officer with the Division of University Advancement, where she manages the budget for development directors and alumni relations. “I’ll probably stay here,” she said. “Working in University Advancement has taught me how important it is to give back to the university once you get your degree.”
Roberts is excited about the university’s future, she said, and looks forward to its 70th anniversary this fall.
“We are a young university, but we remember where we have been and we know where we want to go,” she said.
-- Venita Jenkins