After more than four decades, Tom Seifert is retiring from his position at the University of
The UD community held a retirement lunch for Seifert at the beginning of the semester to offer gratitude and thanks for his 42 years of service to the school.
Seifert began in 1970, when the mailroom was still operating out of Heritage Hall in the middle of campus. Seifert said at the time the campus, and its mail system, was drastically different.
“It has been amazing to see how much campus has changed with all the new buildings and renovations,” Seifert said.
Seifert recalled the construction of Virginia W. Kettering Residence Hall, which added greatly to the volume of student mail that had
to be processed.
Seifert also shared many of the strange, funny and interesting memories he had from his time at UD.
“Of course there was the streaking fad of the early 1970s,” Seifert laughed. “There were many demonstrations around that time as well.”
Seifert also listed some of the weirdest items ever processed in the mail as well.
“We had pig embryos, crickets and horse embryos for the biology department pretty often, but the weirdest item was an oblong box [housing a] live animal with some air holes punched in the side,” Seifert said.
Seifert opened the box in the mailroom and found a live baby alligator. After debating over who had to put it back in the box, the mail staff sealed it up and delivered it to the student it was addressed to.
Amon Williams, an operations technician in the mailroom, worked with Seifert for 14 years.
“Everyone liked him. He was a good Catholic boy. He really walked the walk,” Williams said.
Mail courier Dan Gray, who worked with Seifert for seven years, spoke highly of Seifert describing his caring demeanor and
“Tom, the boss, brought us coffee every single morning. He would stop at McDonalds Monday through Friday and bring us all the senior discounted coffees,” Gray said. “That is the kind of guy Tom is.”
“And every Thursday he brought us all Subway for lunch,”
Denise Dobberstein, coordinator of postal operations, said that she worked with Tom since 1989 when he was extremely underhanded in the mailroom and she came over to help from the bookstore.
“I could tell time by Tom. He was always at work and always on time,” she said. “He was very considerate about his vacation time and only took time off when it didn’t overlap with anyone else’s vacation time.”
Dobberstein added that Tom proudly displays a license plate that reads: “UD PO.”
In addition to the changes on campus and the growing volume of mail, Seifert recalls some of the big changes that occurred in UD’s
“Back in the day, we had to sort all of the student mail in the mailroom,” he said. “But the Dayton Post Office offered us a P.O. Box service for each dorm and that greatly cut back on the amount of processing we had to do here at UD.”
“Another big change was our implementation of the ‘ZIP plus 4’ system,” Seifert said.
Seifert explained that, years ago, each academic department had its own mailbox in a central location and the secretaries had to come get the mail every day. With the start of the ZIP plus 4 system, the campus and its buildings were mapped out so that mail could be delivered directly to each department all over campus.
This also created a need for more help from students to deliver all of the mail across campus,
Seifert expressed that with about 20 students working in the mail department, either in processing or delivery, he got to interact with many students over the years.
“The best part about my career at UD was working with the students. I can honestly say that I will really miss them,” Seifert said.