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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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'Heart of the College' of Business

Verone Nelson is retiring after working for 48 years at Minnesota State Mankato.

Amanda Dyslin, Mankato Free Press, 6-13-2012

Verone Nelson was just 18 years old when she started working at Minnesota State University, Mankato in 1964.

She had grown up in the 1950s and ’60s on a farm north of Nicollet before attending Mankato Commercial College, where she took shorthand, typing and accounting courses for nine months. With plans to get married and start a family in September 1967, she said she didn’t intend to keep working at MSU.

But she liked it so much, she said, she stayed. A long time.

Through the birth of her two daughters and even the birth of her three granddaughters.

Nelson is retiring from MSU after 48 years, having been adminis­trative assistant to the dean of the College of Business since 1966 — which is actually when the first dean, Morgan Thomas, was appointed.

After half a century, yes, she said, she’ll miss coming to work.

“Well, yes, I grew up here. That’s kind of how I feel about it,” she said. When Nelson started at Mankato State, she worked for Dean John Johnson in the College of Education. She also worked for a short time in the industrial arts and math departments.

In 1966, she began working for Thomas in the College of Business.

Daily duties included a whole lot of typing on a manual typewriter.

She worked with students in helping them apply for admission to the college. And she typed all the tests for 46 faculty members.

Nelson has seen a great deal of change over the years. At one time there were 120 faculty in the col­lege, as departments such as com­puter science, aviation, economics and industrial arts were added. But as those programs have left to be housed under other colleges, the College of Business is back to hav­ing 46 faculty again.

Computers certainly changed her job over the years, she said. She remembers the tiny black and white screen of her first Apple computer in the early 1980s. And she remem­bers the advent of the Internet, of course.

“With the computers, there’s been a lot of work online and not so many forms — not as many as we had at the beginning,” she said.

What hasn’t changed much is her love of the people around her. She has worked for all eight deans who have come and gone from the college. And she couldn’t choose one with whom she enjoyed working most.

“They were all great,” she said, adding that she’ll also miss the students, the faculty, administrators and clerical staff.

They’ll miss her, too, said Renee Grams, who has worked closely with Nelson for about four years.

“She’s always kind, welcoming, ready to help. Everyone knows her,” Grams said.

The Mankato Free Press did not publish this story in its online edition, but the entire story on Verone Nelson is available in the print edition of the June 13, 2012 Mankato Free Press. Back copies can be purchased from the Mankato Free Press while supplies last. The reader services phone number for the Free Press to get additional information is 507-625-4451. The Mankato Free Press online edition can be read at

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