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March 22, 2007
The year was 1938. Nazi Germany invaded Austria. Someone named Zworykin received a patent for something called an "electronic television" system. Americans were introduced to instant coffee. Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling. Residents in the Bay Area picked up the San Francisco Chronicle and read, for the first time, a column with Herb Caen's byline.
And, in 1938, Agnes Heidtman was hired by the University of Nevada.
Years later, and after more than a half-century of service to our campus, Heidtman retired. Upon her farewell, the well-known writer for the Reno Gazette-Journal, the late Rollan Melton, wrote "...hail to the personable lady with encyclopedic knowledge of campus history."
Heidtman passed away after a lengthy illness on January 25. A memorial gathering is scheduled in her honor for Thursday, March 29 from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Harry Reid Engineering Laboratory, Room 109-110. Heidtman's campus friends and acquaintances are invited.
Born in Battle Mountain in 1916, she and her family moved to Reno one year later. Heidtman was hired by the Nevada campus in December of 1938 as a temporary employee for the Agricultural Experimental Station. Her two-week job was to label all the Latin identifications for the herbarium. Heidtman found a few other callings on campus, and upon her retirement in June of 2001, she was an administrative secretary for the University's Foundation.
Although she took a ten-year vacation from the campus between 1954 and 1964, Heidtman worked for thirteen different presidents, including Charles Armstrong, James T. Anderson, Neil Humphrey, N. Edd Miller and Joe Crowley. Each became well acquainted with this outgoing and resourceful red-haired woman.
Memorial attendees are asked to RSVP to Lisa Cody at 4-1433 or by email at email@example.com.