Hoos retiring: Carolyn Frey and Mary Lane

Two members Engineering School's registrar's office set to retire


Carolyn Frey (left) and Mary Lane (right) forge a close friendship during their time at the University.

The Engineering School’s Office of Undergraduate Programs will be missing Registrar Mary Lane and Assoc. Registrar Carolyn Frey this coming fall. After working for 23 years and 21 years, respectively, Lane and Frey will be retiring after this academic year.

Frey left working in the private sector to come work at the University, and although she does not directly have a background in engineering, she said working with the engineering students was her favorite part of the job. Frey most enjoyed meeting students from all over the world and learning about their unique cultures.

“I had the pleasure of taking one student under my wing and invited him to be a part of my family during his four years at the University,” Frey said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “I had him at my home for Thanksgiving and other special occasions. He is from Malaysia and we have developed a lifelong friendship.”

Since she came to the University 21 years ago, Frey said the Engineering School has grown extensively. Along with the school’s growth, necessary changes and expansions of programs also increased Frey’s workload, as she needed to respond to students’ requests in a timely manner and process more work. Frey said she will always remember working with these students.

In addition, Frey directly involved herself in students’ lives as a volunteer for the Cavalier Marching band for two years. Frey said she had been in her school’s marching band and loved watching the football halftime shows to see the marching band, in which many Engineering students were members.

Frey said in retirement she looks forward to gardening, landscaping and spending more time with family, especially with her six-year old grandson. She also plans to pursue her interest in photography and said she has already bought a new digital camera.

During Frey’s time at the University, she forged a very close friendship with Lane. They even planned their leaving the University together.

“Over the years, we have become more like sisters, and she is truly my best friend,” Frey said.

Lane, who was awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award in 2005 and Engineering Distinguished Service Award in 2016, said her favorite part of her job was also helping Engineering students. One student went so far as to tell her that he could not have graduated without her help. After she retires, Lane said she hopes the many students and faculty she has assisted throughout her career will remember her passion for helping others.

“U.Va. Engineering students are wonderful and I can only hope that many of them will remember me as a knowledgeable and helpful Undergraduate Registrar,” Lane said.

Like Frey, her plans for retirement include gardening, and Lane is also interested in doing more cooking and baking.

“After working for over 46 years, I also plan to sleep a little later in the mornings,” Lane said.

With a total 44 years of dedicated service to the University, Frey and Lane have left an impression on the faculty, student body and each other.

“It will be bittersweet not seeing one another very often, but we are very excited that our time has come to finally relax and just enjoy life,” Frey said. “We were a great team.” 

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