By Charlotte Brookins
Anyone who has spent time in the University of Iowa Department of Mathematics is likely familiar with longtime administrator Margaret Driscol. However, most may not realize she’s been with the institution for 55 years, joining in 1967.
“I wanted to be an English teacher,” recalls Driscol. “But I didn’t have funding to go to school, so I thought I’d work and save money to go to school. That summer I started working in the hospital cafeteria.”
But Driscol, who had taken office practice, shorthand, and typing in high school, wanted to try a different path. She switched tracks and ended up interviewing for what was then called the Division of Mathematical Sciences, made up of mathematics, statistics, and computer science.
“I have spent my whole adult life here,” says Driscol, reflecting on the impact her career at the university has had on her.
She has seen and been part of the many changes and experiences of the last fifty-plus years on campus. Some major milestones between then and now include the grand opening of Hancher Auditorium in 1972, the 1991 campus shooting, the 2001 fire at Old Capitol, the flood of 2008, the reopening of Hancher in 2016, and a global pandemic in 2020.
At the same time, Driscol was making important milestones in her personal life.
“As life happened, I kept working, and then I met my husband,” Driscol adds. The two of them were then married and started a family.
Over the years, she has worked with many students, faculty, and staff members, helping each on their journey through the university.
“I like what I’m doing. I like the university,” Driscol says. “I’m proud to work here. I like all the people I work with and those I have met over the years, and I love the students.”