Still a pip at 92, Eileen Kerrigan retires after 55 years at FDU

Eileen Kerrigan is joined by Acting University President Sheldon Drucker (left) and Metropolitan Provost Joseph Kiernan at her retirement party. After 55.5 years, the 92-year-old administrative assistant is leaving Fairleigh Dickinson University.

By Kenna Caprio

Jokes about scotch, parking spaces, St. Patrick’s Day and the Fountain of Youth dominated the remarks delivered at Eileen Kerrigan’s retirement party. Which might not be all together unexpected, save for the fact that Kerrigan recently turned 92.

All quips aside, a central theme ran through each speaker’s commentary: Kerrigan will be missed much and remembered fondly.

“We talk about the ‘pillars’ of FDU,” says Accounting, Taxation and Law department chair Robert DeFilippis. “She is the foundation.”

Serving as an administrative assistant for the departments of Accounting, Taxation and Law; and Economics, Finance and International Business, Kerrigan started at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1956. When one speaker asked her how many years she’s worked for the University, Kerrigan cracked that it wasn’t 55 years she’s worked here, but rather that she’d be turning 55-years-old in January.

Acting President Sheldon Drucker joked that when he heard Kerrigan was leaving that his first thought was, “Which university recruited her away from us?” Meanwhile, Metropolitan Provost Joseph Kiernan posited that he would retire before Kerrigan, because “Eileen just seems to go on and on.”

After delivering his remarks, Kiernan presented “Queen” Kerrigan with a crown. She granted him a kiss on the check.

Her children Kevin, Barbara and George attended the event as well as more than 50 faculty and staff members.

“I’m flabbergasted,” Kerrigan says of her retirement party. Looking overjoyed, she adds, “I never expected anything like this!”

Speakers included Drucker; Kiernan; DeFilippis; Hank Fuentes, associate professor accounting, taxation and law; Evangelos Djmopoulos, Economics, Finance and International Business department chair; and Richard Panicucci, friend, retired assistant provost and professor.

The Dickinson Hall parking lot is short one parking sign now that Kerrigan is retiring.

Feature Story from the FDU Newsroom

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