After 46 Years, Betty Snow Makes Her Last Copy This Week
Betty Snow remembers when the Xerox 9500 photocopier was the latest and greatest — and when customers paid for their copies only with coins, not a code or a swipe.
“There was no device to count $600 worth of nickels, dimes and quarters,” Snow said. “We finally got something to shake them up and make them fall [into separate denominations]. But then you had to count them out, roll them up and put them in a bag.”
Snow, who has worked in copy services at the University of Virginia for 46 years, serving in both technician and supervisory roles, is set to retire from the Law School on Friday.
In 1993, when she left the Darden School of Business to supervise the Law School’s copy services, completed jobs were placed in bins, and customers were on their honor to take only what was theirs.
That system could get complicated, however, given the amount of duplication.
“During the busy seasons every year, August and January, it was nothing unusual for us to do 1 million copies [collectively],” she said.
Since then, the technology has gotten more sophisticated, which has helped the team customize its offerings and better manage the large workload.
“Now we’ve got computers, high-tech machines, a tracking system, a ticketing system,” she said.
A native of Nelson County, Virginia, Snow began at the University working for Darden in 1972, when the graduate program was housed in Monroe Hall.
Twenty-one years later, the Law School interviewed her to oversee its copy center. She was hired the same day.
The center currently helps customers with course packets, posters, booklets, resumes and the like — pretty much everything but thesis papers, which the University aggregates at the Alderman Copy Center.
Snow said she will take away with her many fond memories of helping and befriending students, faculty and staff.
Professor George Yin, who joined the law faculty in 1994, was one of Snow’s first customers.
“Betty is a real jewel,” Yin said. “We’ll miss her a lot.”
Agatha V. Ortiz-Castillo, who has been with the center for 20 years, and Ben Schwartz, an employee of six years, said they’ve appreciated Snow’s abilities as a trainer on the technical aspects of the job.
Snow said she looks forward to traversing the U.S. more often during her retirement. Her travel companions will include her husband, Malcolm; his mother, JoAnne; and their red coon hound lab, Apache.
Her agenda includes seeing the last five states she’s never visited: Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska and Hawaii.