It was February 1978, and Mel Widomski, a former policeman in Baltimore County, was just seven months into his new job in the Hopkins Security Office in Garland Hall when he spotted a posting for a part-time typist in the History Department.
His wife, Sharon--whom he met at Patterson High when he was 17 and she, 15--was a history buff, and with two young sons at home, she thought a part-time job would be perfect. And it was.
Twenty years later, both of the Widomskis' roles at Hopkins have changed.
"There hasn't been a job available in the History Department that I didn't hold at one time or another," laughs Sharon, onetime receptionist, graduate administrator, graduate coordinator and now departmental administrator. And as for Mel, he's moved from Security to Facilities Management, where his position as project manager has taken him from Evergreen House to the Columbia Center, with plenty of stops at Homewood and East Baltimore in between.
From Mel's office on the second floor of the Greenhouse he can look across to the third floor of Gilman, where Sharon works in a rose-colored office painted one Saturday by their sons.
Almost every morning and evening, just as they have for two decades, the Widomskis travel to and from work together, and in the middle of the day--when the History Department is buzzing and construction crews have hit their stride--they do what they've always done: They have lunch together.
On June 2, they celebrated their 20-year-long, side-by-side careers at a dinner in the Glass Pavilion at which the university honored 215 employees for their service of 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years. Those retiring this year were recognized as well.
"Together, you represent more than 5,665 years of collective service to Johns Hopkins," President William R. Brody told the gathering, which also included 15 individuals who have been employed 36 or more years. "Put another way, if you had worked consecutively, instead of concurrently, the first of you would have started working ... about 100 years before the first pharaoh united Egypt."
A few days earlier, about 100 Hygiene and Public Health staff members celebrating five, 10 and 15 years of service were recognized by the university at a reception in the School of Public Health's Atrium. The event, open to all staff, wrapped up the school's annual staff appreciation day.