Employee Profile - June 2010
Ms. Ellie Weigand
While she is too multifaceted to pigeonhole, a few adjectives describe Ellie Weigand to a "T": patient, strong, proud, loving, hardworking, energetic and motherly. This 27-year veteran of Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry is proud to call HSC-BCD her second home, and she considers her co-workers extended family. The feeling is mutual.
Patient & Strong
In the years before she joined HSC-Baylor College of Dentistry on June 21, 1982, Weigand and her family moved around the country. Her husband, Don, known as "Mr. Outdoor" in his line of work, was building his career in the field of outdoor advertising. Their family, which included six children, lived in Pennsylvania and then moved south to Texas, where home was alternately in such places as San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Austin and Midland. Then the family moved to Fort Smith, Ark., until they journeyed west to the Bay area of California. They stayed there for a brief six months before heading back to Texas and settling in Dallas. Weigand says there were times when the continual moving was tough on the children and her, but in the long run the experiences were beneficial to their development and made the family grow stronger.
Proud & Loving
Weigand speaks with great pride about her six children. Twin girls were the initial additions to the family, followed by another daughter and three sons. Five of the children attended college in Texas and one attended the United States Air Force Academy, followed by a 21-year career in the Air Force. Weigand beams as she speaks of her children's varied careers: career Air Force, physician assistant, nurse, fashion merchandiser, engineer and computer programmer.
The children surprised their mother with a birthday party in April in honor of her 85th birthday. Weigand says, "It was a complete surprise and one of the best days of my life. My family was there to celebrate with me. Almost the whole department was there too... and even my financial adviser!"
Her eyes also shine while speaking about her 13 grandchildren. She recounts how busy the spring has been, with one grandchild graduating from Baylor University and two grandsons graduating from high school. They will start their college careers in the fall at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Colorado. Another grandson is attending the University of Virginia and two granddaughters are at the University of Texas. Education is a priority and a source of pride in the Weigand family.
Hardworking & Energetic
As resident coordinator for the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Weigand's days are full. She provides daily administrative support for the residents as well as Drs. Michael Ellis and Sterling Schow.
"Always friendly, helpful and upbeat, she has-for 24 years- made it fun for me to come to work," says Schow. "In the process she has made our "job" a pleasant and rewarding adventure.
"Ellie has the love and gratitude of a long line of surgery graduate students for the expertise, guidance and leadership she has provided to them -they are all her extended family, and they know it!" continues Schow. "Ellie is ‘forever young,' a talented, friendly, active and enthusiastic lady."
Weigand says she enjoys her work and staying busy. "I love the people in this department. They are like a second family to me," she says. "They are a good group of folks. We work hard and we have fun at the same time."
Outside the office, Weigand also expends energy at Jazzercise twice a week. "It is a lot of fun!" she adds.
"With a great deal of affection I call her ‘Mom,' but she's really like the ideal friend," says Schow about Weigand.
Many longstanding employees of the dental school attribute their longevity to the family atmosphere at their workplace. People like Ellie Weigand make HSC-BCD a great place to be every day. Her warm personality brightens the day-to-day interactions, she is a good listener, and years of assisting residents and raising a family make it possible for her to dole out sage advice.
To quote Nat King Cole, "Unforgettable...that's what you are."