After 38 years, Sac State staffer retires


Patricia Holmes received a standing ovation for her contribution to the social work department.

Kaitlin Bruce

Patricia Holmes, dedicated staff member with more than 38 years of service in the department of social work, has retired from her position this week at Sacramento State.

Holmes was honored by the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution and the Black Staff and Faculty Association with a retirement celebration held at the Alumni Center on Sept. 5.

Holmes started her work here in 1977 as a clerical assistant and since then has made a climb in the social work department at Sac State.

Criminal justice professor Cecil Canton has worked closely with Holmes for the past 13 years and considers her an asset to the university.

“I’ve never seen someone work as hard as she does for students and faculty,” said Canton. “She’s a dynamic person (who is) totally committed to the things she believes in – a real student advocate.”

Holmes’ retirement will greatly affect the social work department, Canton said.

“Her retirement is a loss and a lot of us are going to feel the burden personally because everything she represents and the values she imparted here,” Canton said. “Hopefully we will be able to step up and fill the void.”

John Strother, a professor in social work, has known Holmes since 1972.

“All the time I’ve been here she’s been very helpful,” Strother said. “She does a lot of things above and beyond what are expected of her.”

Holmes also acted as president of the Black Staff and Faculty Association.

“She was always giving up her time, always volunteering,” Strother said. “It’s going to be a huge loss. She’s influenced a lot of students in their lives over the years.”

“She’s probably the most competent, compassionate and consistent human beings I’ve ever met,” said David Demetral, professor of social work. “We are understaffed, so a lot fell on her shoulders that was far beyond her job title, and she did it every day, year after year.”

Holmes has mixed feelings on her retirement, but she said she believes this was the best time for her to leave.

“It’s crisis time, we’re short staffed, but I believe the division can step up,” said Holmes. “This is the perfect time for me to leave, I think I’ve done all that I can do and I need to move on and do other things.”

Holmes said she would love to see more of the world, and be more engaged with her family and community.

“I just turned 50,” said Holmes. “I’m in good health and I want to do things like travel, volunteer at my granddaughter’s school and work with my church.”

Holmes said she will miss her position because of the variety and all the interesting aspects she encountered everyday.

“I was so excited about my job, because every day was different than before,” she said. “My experiences at Sac State were great experiences.”

Kaitlin Bruce can be reached at [email protected]