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After 35 Years of Service Each, Lutz and Dreibelbis Retire

Suzy Lutz and Jo-Ann Dreibelbis both retired on September 30, 2008, after 35 years of service to Penn State.

by Pamela Batson

The College of Education bid farewell to two long-time staff assistants, Suzanne "Suzy" Lutz and Jo-Ann Dreibelbis. Friends and often walking buddies over lunch, it is perhaps fitting that they both retired on September 30, 2008. Their many years of service and friendship to the College are greatly appreciated.

Before coming to Penn State, Suzy Lutz, worked at Moyer’s Jewelry and had planned to continue her career there, but according to her own account, she was too shy to be a salesperson. Something her colleagues would find extraordinary today given her outgoing personality.

So in 1967, Lutz joined Penn State in Continuing Education in the Keller Building as a receptionist before moving to the Educational Psychology department in the College of Education as the department head secretary. In September 1975, she left her position to stay home and raise her first son, Alan and then Adam who was born in 1977. While she may not have been working in the office each day, she was working at home as a typist for Counselor Education, typing speeches, books, and other materials.

When she decided to return to the workplace, Lutz took a secretary position with Houserville Elementary School. While there, she worked in the nurse’s office often filling in to treat students. After six years at the school, she returned to Penn State in 1990 as a secretary in the Counselor Education department. Ironically, her mother Betty Blazer, had worked in Counselor Education as a department head secretary before retiring and Lutz inherited her mother’s old desk.

In 1994, she took a position in the development and alumni relations office where she remained for 14 years as the external relations assistant before retiring after almost 30 years in the Penn State system.

Lutz celebrated her retirement by taking a trip to New York with her husband, Jay.“It feels like Christmas every day,” she said. “It’s just a joy to be at home and spending time with my family, especially my grandkids.”

Lutz had the honor of being the College’s chair person for the United Way and at the time, set a fundraising record. She continues to support the Day of Caring and other United Way events.

A lifelong Penn State fan, her husband, Jay and two sons are both graduates. She resides in State College and continues to be involved in the community.

Early in her career, Jo-Ann Dreibelbis worked for Barto’s IGA in Pine Grove Mills and G.C. Murphy Co. in State College as a sales clerk. She began her career at Penn State in 1970 where she worked in the Student Affairs department’s division of counseling, and then later in the Office of Student Aid until 1973.

She returned to Penn State in 1976 to accept a position in the College of Education where she worked in the Special Education and the Occupational and Vocational Studies (now known as Workforce Education and Development) departments.

Over the course of the next 28 years, Dreibelbis held positions in what was then known as the Computation Center as the director’s secretary and in the Eberly College of Science’s Chemistry and Human Resources departments. With each new position, she increased her responsibilities and took on new challenges. 

In June 1991, Dreibelbis returned to the College of Education where she remained until her retirement. Her last position was as a staff assistant in the Curriculum and Instruction department.

Outside of the office, Dreibelbis was a member of the HIV/AIDS Education Consortium Network. She also took several courses through the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State.

During her 35 years at Penn State, she saw her daughter, Debra, graduate with two degrees and then go on to work at Penn State as well.

These days, Dreibelbis is busy looking after her grandkids and catching up with friends, like her walking buddy, Suzy Lutz.