Johns Hopkins Gazette: June 9, 1997


Staff Recognition:
Frank and Donna Lea have
found Hopkins a perfect
match for 25 years

Randolph Fillmore
Contributing Writer

The year is 1972. George McGovern is challenging Richard Nixon. Gasoline reaches the incredible price of 40 cents a gallon. Cal Ripken Jr. is in elementary school. Frank Lea and Donna Mack start working at Johns Hopkins University. He starts in February, she in May.

Twenty-five years later, Frank and Donna, married since 1980, are still working in East Baltimore. Last week the couple received their 25-year awards at the 24th Annual Staff Recognition Dinner held at the Glass Pavilion on the Homewood campus.

Donna Lea, who now works in the Department of Internal Medicine on the eighth floor in the 1830 Building on Monument Street, started her Hopkins career on May 23, 1972. Since then, she has worked for both OB-GYN and Radiology.

Frank, who works in Purchasing for the Medical Division, started working at Hopkins on Feb. 22, 1972. Then, his office was on the second floor of the 1830 Building, and Donna was working on the first floor.

Born in different parts of North Carolina, they came to Baltimore in the early 1970s. Frank came to Baltimore after mustering out of the army. Donna came "by way of Cleveland from North Carolina."

"We knew each other back then," said Donna. "We'd say 'Hi' in the hall, but we didn't start dating until 1980."

Their first date was in August at the Maryland State Fair. They were married three months later.

Today, Frank works in the Pre-Clinical Teaching Building, on the corner of Wolfe and Monument streets. With their offices a short walk away, now, as in the past, they sometimes meet for lunch. "More often, Frank now gets me to pack his lunch," confessed Donna.

As her award, Donna selected the watch with the Hopkins seal, and Frank selected the collage.

Standing ovations shake Glass Pavilion

At the 24th annual Staff Recognition Dinner for retiring Hopkins employees and those with more than 20 years of service, five standing ovations shook the walls of the Glass Pavilion. Standing ovations honored Ross Jones, vice president and secretary, with 35 years of service; Sidney Green, who has logged 40 years of service in housekeeping; Mamie Brown, a Hopkins employee in the Levering Hall cafeteria for 53 years and two thunderous ovations celebrated Minnie Hargrow's 50 years.

"This is a tremendous collection of talent and ability and institutional memory gathered in this room," said university President William R. Brody. "Your stability, your common sense and initiative, your skillful leadership and expertise in all the varied departments you represent has helped make this university the great institution it is today."

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