The Unsung Heroes of Stetson University


Stetson University is managed and maintained by hundreds of hard-working individuals that are widely overlooked by the student body. These people work day-in and day-out to ensure that Stetson can operate as smooth as possible, yet, many students have no idea who these people are. These individuals deserved to be recognized for their dedication to Stetson.

Throughout the next few weeks, The Reporter will feature two of Stetson’s unsung heroes in each issue. The articles will contain brief biographies of the selected individuals while also highlighting their career at Stetson. If you would like to suggest an individual to be recognized in a future issue of the Stetson Reporter, email Garen Freed at

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Ms. Irene Gilmore

If you have ordered a fresh deli sandwich for lunch during the school week, chances are you have met Ms. Irene Gilmore. The 55-year Stetson veteran served multiple generations of students and is known by her regulars as “Miss Irene.” As native to the DeLand area, Miss Irene said she would often “drive by the campus and admire the beauty of the prestige college.”

She began her career at Stetson in 1958 after a fire burned down the original Commons building during the winter break in 1954. Since the start of her career, she has worked all over the campus food services including the bakery, deli and catering departments. Additionally, she has taught several culinary classes while at Stetson.

Miss Irene has encountered many different generations of students over the last six decades. While she has no preference towards any single generation, she said that the current generation of Stetson students seems to be the most “active and productive” she’s ever encountered.

She says that her favorite part of working at Stetson for the last 55 years has been “Meeting new, young faces each year, the new generations of people keep me young!”

Her kind-heartedness is demonstrated by the fact that she’s known for giving advice to students when she can.

“If I can [offer]some of my experiences to someone, it makes it all worth it,” she said. “If I can help someone in any way, then I am happy.”

During her term at Stetson, she has raised a son, four grandchildren, multiple great-grandchildren, and even a great-great-grandchild.

Despite her length of service, Miss Irene doesn’t plan on retiring any time soon. She said she truly loves every aspect of her job, as well as all of the students and faculty she encounters on a regular basis.

If you’ve never met Miss. Irene or eaten one of her delicious deli sandwiches, do yourself a favor and get to know one Stetson’s finest.