Southern charm were magnetic. When I enrolledin Woodberry in the fall of 2000, I became terriblyhomesick. Tammy and Clyde were always there forme and always knew what to say, single-handedlygetting me through that phase of uncertaintyabout whether or not Woodberry was the place forme. They took time out of their busy schedules towhisk me off campus. And they cooked. Boy, didthey cook. Some of the finest homemade mealsI have ever had were prepared in their upperinfirmary apartment kitchen.
Some of you may or may not know that Tammywas a professional baker before becoming a nurse,and over the years she has graciously offered tomake wedding cakes for many in the Woodberryfamily. To show gratitude to those who helpWoodberry, like the local rescue squad who reportsto campus for home football games, Tammy andClyde whip up batches of cookies or browniesand hand deliver them to Madison. Anyone whohas been lucky enough to attend their annualChristmas party after the candlelight serviceknows what I am talking about. Their diningroom table is overflowing with made-from-scratchgoodies and Tammy’s famous eggnog, with Clydebehind the bar preparing one of his legendary,signature Christmas-themed cocktails.
While at Woodberry, Tammy and Clyde havegone far above and beyond their job expectations.Tammy probably did not realize that she wouldbe the unofficial seamstress of the student body,especially in the days leading up to Semi-Formal orgraduation, as desperate boys bring her pants andblazers to fix. I cannot count how many buttonsshe has sewn onto articles of clothing of mine. AndI doubt Clyde realized in the beginning that hewould be answering phone calls for the infirmaryat 2: 45 a.m. or racing to the pharmacy to pick up astudent’s antibiotics before it closed.
Former headmaster Dennis Campbell told me
that he relied on Tammy and Clyde not only for
their major responsibilities but also for the many
things they did as volunteers, from St. Andrew’s
Chapel to provisions for special events. “Clyde
provided outstanding meals and service through
his total dedication to the school, and his genial
manner welcomed people to the dining hall in a
way that set Woodberry apart from other schools,”
says Dr. Campbell. He added, “It is impossible
for me to say how much Tammy’s service meant
to the school. As director of health services, she
went way beyond reasonable expectations and was
an important advisor to all of the administrative
officers of the school as well as to the faculty.” This
I know to be true, as at the lunch table or during
faculty meetings, many of us turn to Tammy to
give insight and shed light on something that may
be troubling one of our boys.
As Tammy, a Mississippi girl at heart, and Clyde,a good old Virginia boy, prepare to enjoy their well-deserved retirement at the beautiful home theybuilt in Maine, let us all be grateful for their manyyears of devoted service and loyalty to WoodberryForest. We know that this place will not be thesame without the Firmans, and those who come