Kay Bruening, executive support associate for Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant, retired July 1 after 20 years of service.
Kay started her career with Sea Grant as a part-time publications clerk working from a desk next to the refrigerator in the kitchen area of the Sea Grant office suite. In less than a month, the office manager job became available, and Kay applied for the position. She was the office leader under four different directors.
“I’ve made a lot of friends during my 20 years at Sea Grant and have worked with a total of 35 employees (past and present) during that time,” Kay said. “Because of the amount of time we spend with fellow employees (work 8 hours, with family 8 hours, sleep 8 hours – I read this somewhere a long time ago), I like to think I get along with everyone and try my best to bring a social factor to the office with our monthly lunches, Christmas parties and other get-togethers.”
Sea Grant offices are located on The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Lab campus in Ocean Springs, Miss.
Kay plans to spend the summer with her granddaughter, Kaylin, traveling around the Mississippi and Alabama coasts.
“Then, I have lots of projects to work on at home that I’ve neglected over the years,” she said.
The Sea Grant staff will miss Kay, whose attention to detail, organizational skills and understanding of university policy make their jobs a lot easier.
“I am going to miss Kay Bruening very much,” said Director LaDon Swann. “She has been a friend to me since my first day on the job. She understands me so well that I sometimes believe she is a mind reader. Kay never walked away from a good challenge during a significant growth period for MASGC. For that I will always admire and respect her.”