Phyllis Harris Ramey ’77, 1924-2011
“Prize and Pride of Presidents Three”
Phyllis Ramey was a fixture on the Rollins College campus for more than a quarter of a century. In positions ranging from the president’s executive secretary to director of personnel, she left her mark on the college that became her alma mater.
Ramey started her Rollins career in 1965 in the comptroller’s office. When the College welcomed its 11th president in 1969, Jack Critchfield selected Ramey to anchor the launch of his administration. She continued in that role until the president asked her to serve as the inaugural director of personnel in 1975.
The mother of two was an apt choice. While working, running a household, and volunteering in the community, she was also taking courses at the precursor of the Hamilton Holt School. In 1977, a day before her younger son’s graduation from the College, Ramey received her bachelor’s degree.
Her career subsequently carried her to the College’s development division, where she oversaw community relations, orchestrating events such as Parents Weekend and the first Grandparents Weekend. A director of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and the Winter Park YMCA, as well as a founding member and co-chair of the Winter Park Autumn Art Festival, Ramey was listed in Community Leaders and Outstanding Americans. She was also active in professional associations, such as the Orlando chapter of the National Secretaries Association (International), which named her Secretary of the Year.
Although she celebrated her retirement in 1989, then-president Thaddeus Seymour’s announcement of his pending retirement precipitated a presidential search. Ramey was asked to staff the search committee, and she marked participation in the selection of Rollins’ 13th president, Rita Bornstein, as a highlight of her Rollins career.
Another highlight was the 1990 Alumni Service Award, presented during that year’s Alumni Reunion activities. Lauded by Caroline Sandlin Fullerton ’40 at the 50th anniversary dinner of the Class of 1940, which “adopted” Ramey, the College ambassador par excellence was laureled as “prize and pride of presidents three.”
Ramey passed on October 8, 2011 and is survived by sons Daniel ’70 and Edward ’77 ’78MBA and their families.