Submitted by Brian Schuler
The date is August 1, 1991, and it’s another hot summer day in St. Louis. In last night’s game, the Cardinals emerged from their early season slump by defeating the Pirates, 6-3. The Cardinals won the opening game of a four game series in Busch Stadium with The Wizard and The Secret Weapon at the infield and Pagnozzi at home plate. Patricia Haftarczyk, also known as half-track, was ready to start her day as one of Washington University’s newest members this morning.
Patti began her career in Accounting Payables, Systems and Procedures. In light of a new accounting system called AIS, Patti went to work for IS&T, providing training and support to AIS/FIS and eventually HRMS.
Her 30 year, 11 month, and 4 day tenure at the university made Patti well known as the university’s AIS/FIS and HRMS expert, both on the Danforth campus and at the Medical School. To learn how to use anything related to finance or HR, you had to speak with Patti and our Systems and Procedures team first. It has been said that she taught the entire university how to use those systems.
In addition to training, Patti was a key member of the systems and procedures team. When our accounting service department needed help with anything, they knew Patti could help them. Her work in security for our administrative systems made her a point of contact for internal and external security audits, and whenever we moved offices, she brought her filing cabinet and crates full of access request forms. As a result, Knowledge Lake took only a few boxes of security to our new building at 4480 Clayton Avenue when she joined the team.
While transitioning to Workday, she guided our team and helped them gain more knowledge about the software. The time had come for Patti to hang up her hat and ride out. As the fiscal year closed out for one last time during Patti’s career, on July 5th she answered her last Systems and Procedures call and signed out of the phones for one last time.
Unbeknownst to Patti, we were scheming a surprise retirement party. We scheduled a morning appointment for her to come back into the office to return her laptop for the next day. Wednesday morning the trap was set, we had reached out to coworkers and customers alike to come partake in saying farewell to a living legend of the Systems and Procedures team and when Patti was escorted into the building, she had a wonderful surprise. There were tears, there were laughs, and with a few final hugs, we said goodbye.