Amanda Gipson Photo by Susan Bartol. Professor Gaffney leads the congregation during graduation.
She is one of the few people here who can recall the Markle family, the sororities with their May Crowing and traditional activities, and the switch board run by Ruthie Donner.
"She would let me sit on her lap and put the things out and put them in" she recalls.
When Gaffney was 3, her father got a job on campus, offered to him by Frank Kostas, for whom the Kostas building is named. Kostas' portrait hangs near K-1, a testament to his involvement on campus. Gaffney 's dad had formerly worked two jobs to support his growing family and came to campus in 1949. He would be employed by the campus until his retirement in 1974. Gaffney lived on campus, in three homes until her marriage in 1969.
The first place the Gaffney's family lived was on the upper floors of the Memorial building and two homes that were removed for the expansion of academic buildings.
Gaffney recalls that growing up on campus was peaceful, and that campus in those days was not only a place of education, it was a family. She notes that "people came here and stayed ... they made their home here."
After her marriage, she and her husband spent time living in Bethlehem. They returned home to campus in order for her to build the health services program on campus. She was encouraged to do so by many friends she had on campus.
She transitioned to full time teaching, two years after her return, in 1984. After a brief teaching position at King's College, Gaffney came back again to teach four years ago.
The transition from student to teacher on campus "was fun as it allowed me to become part of that part of Penn State and to be an active participant in creating the campus. It seemed natural extension of my campus life."
A commitment to remembering the past does not make Gaffney a professor stuck in the rut of outdated pedagogy. Megan McGee, 22, of Milford, believes that "Mrs. Gaffney is a pretty awesome professor
... who uses PowerPoint and puts them onto ANGEL for us ... all her tests are ANGEL tests, online tests, her theory is she doesn’t want us to fail them so she gives you a good amount of time . .. She also uses MyEducation lab ... it gives you the book and the lab and everything online."
McGee feels Gaffney's childhood on campus helps her in training future educators because "she knows the area, the feeling, the campus, she understands it a lot." In this way, Gaffney's understanding , of, and involvement in, the campus over the years has allowed her to provide the level of education that both she and Penn State are known for providing.