Family, friends and co-workers gathered Nov. 18 for a big birthday celebration when Virginia "Ginny" Fallon turned 90 years old.
Yes, Mrs. Fallon of Ross still works full time as a receptionist at Community College of Allegheny County, Office of College Services. And she doesn't plan to retire anytime soon.
"I'll be there until they ask me to leave," she joked.
That's another thing that doesn't appear to be happening anytime soon.
"Ginny's dedication to CCAC is remarkable," CCAC president Alex Johnson said. "Even at 90 years young, she never fails to represent CCAC with professionalism, warmth and wit. She embodies the very best of the CCAC family."
In what was supposed to be a temporary job, Mrs. Fallon started working at CCAC in 1973. "That was when we were still located Downtown, and I went there for just a few weeks with a temp agency," she said.
Mrs. Fallon's husband would drop her off at work in the mornings, and she would take a bus home. After three months, her assignment with the college was up and she went to work at a shoe store.
Soon, the college was calling and asking her to come back.
"One morning they called and asked me to come down, and I told them that it was 10:10 and that the last bus had already left. They told me to take a cab," she said.
She has been at CCAC ever since.
These days, Mrs. Fallon's friend or one of her two children in the Pittsburgh area take her to and from work.
Mrs. Fallon said she has seen many changes at the college. The biggest was the move to the North Side in 1984.
"I didn't know the North Side at all, but it was easy to learn," she said. "And we have grown so much. Right now, we are building a new science center that is beautiful."
Mrs. Fallon's job entails greeting people who come to the campus, scheduling meetings, directing visitors to the appropriate offices and just about anything else that happens her way.
"I'm there to do anything I can to make everything run smoothly," she said.
The changes in technology haven't fazed Mrs. Fallon. She uses email and the Internet to help her job run more smoothly. But she only uses those tools at work.
"I don't email anyone from home," she said.
Mrs. Fallon celebrated her 90th birthday in a big way with parties at work and a huge celebration with friends and family -- including many co-workers and Mr. Johnson, who earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Penn State University.
In honor of her celebration, many of the members of the CCAC community sent her notes, cards and emails, with their best wishes.
"I was deluged with cards and emails -- I must have had over 400 cards," she said.
"Dr. Johnson makes it so nice and so comfortable to work there. All of the people at the college are wonderful -- I really consider them all my friends."
Kathleen Ganster, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org . First Published December 8, 2011 5:00 AM