Backtalk | Alma Tuitt

Administrative assistant to the associate dean, Theological School

Photo by Peter Murphy

I’ve been here almost 30 years. I’m like the trees. People know me.

I don’t look for rewards. Our students here in the Theo School, they have jobs, churches, families. Anything you can do to make their lives a little easier—whether it’s a “Hello,” or “I’ll take care of that for you”—makes it better for them. The Employee of the Year award in 2006 was a total shock. I was so overwhelmed.

Morris Davis is a great guy to work for. I used to work with Barent Johnson. He was the first registrar that I had here. He’s top of the line. But Morrey is right up there. I had a lot of great bosses. The best way to get to a person is make sure they’re happy, keep them laughing. I let my personality shine and that tends to be infectious. I think I have a lot to do with turning them into great bosses.

I came up one summer from Mississippi to visit for a couple of weeks with my aunt who lived in Brooklyn. I went to work with a cousin on Wall Street, just to spend the day. A lot of people were out, and the phones were ringing off the hook. The phone started getting on my nerves, so I started answering. It was a pension trust department. Mostly it was common-sense questions. When I left there, I had a job. I was 19.

I commute two hours each way. There are days when the police are getting coffee, and I can get here in an hour-and-a-half.

I live in Brooklyn. Even though we didn’t lose power after Sandy, we lost cell phone service and the ability to go through the tunnel. When I finally made it over to Drew, I left my house at 6 a.m. I got here at 2 p.m. They opened the third floor of Welch Hall for faculty and staff commuters displaced by the storm. The first night I was a little antsy. I don’t like to stay away from home. I forgot that kids start partying at midnight. I yelled out the window, “OK, already. This is not Brooklyn. Go to sleep!”

Everybody knows when I hit the lottery, I’m going to donate a big wad of money to Drew, and then I’m out.

17 Responses to “Backtalk | Alma Tuitt”

  1. Nilsa Olivero says:

    Alma, in Spanish means soul and as we say in Spanish you are a soul of God. Thank you. Gracias, che che, God Bless your soul.

  2. Susan McRae says:

    Alma … how I miss you! You kept me straight or covered up when I went astray!

  3. Maria Ling says:

    Alma. I miss. Your fire. Your silk. And your heart on your sleeve.

  4. Andrea Kipp says:

    Hi Alma!

    Loved your interview! You always brought smiles to people wherever you went. In another Registrar’s Office in another time, you made life easier for me with your great sense of humor. God Bless!

    Andrea Kipp

  5. Peg Crilly says:

    Alma, you rock! your infectious love and positive energy always make me smile and feel better if things are crazy! Thanks for being here with us and putting up with us! AND you should have your own radio show at Drew!

  6. Tisa Joyner Nance says:

    Alma you are Brooklyn’s finest!! I luv sister girl!!!

  7. Alma,
    You are such a great blessing to me and my family.

  8. Jeff Markay says:

    Alma, you are wonderful. You are such a blessing to everyone who walks into Seminary Hall.

  9. Suzanne Wenonah Duchesne says:

    Alma, you keep me going and I am not the only one…

  10. Chalyce Bowden says:

    Drew is a better place because you are here. The Theo School and all who attend and work there are fortunate and blessed. Thank you for being YOU and for all you do. Words will never be able to fully express the gratitude and love that is felt for you.

    The picture is fabulous!!! Your personality comes right through in this interview. I love it! Don’t ever change.

  11. Anne Yardley says:

    Thanks for 10 years of making me look good! Love the picture!

  12. Lisa Gallo says:


    You Are The Hear & Soul of The Theo School. You Are very Real and Honest. Love The Article.

    You Look Beautiful..

    Love You,


  13. Amy Harbo says:

    Alma Tuitt,

    You are the heart of the Theo School. You know how to bring out the best in people, and not a person gets through the school without knowing you and being known by you. “And the greatest of these is love.” That is you.

    Whatever they pay you, it’s not nearly enough! :)

  14. Will Lee (T'08) says:

    She deserved “Employee of the Year” every year I was on campus. Thank you Alma!!

  15. Theresa Ellis says:

    This. Is. Fantastic. You should have a regular column in the Drew Magazine. Something like, “Straight Talk with Alma.”

  16. Richenda says:

    Alma, you must know we all love you!! I love the photo of you here, you look like the angel that you are. :-) Thank you. I can’t imagine the Theo school without you!

  17. Susan MacDonnell says:

    Alma! Sound awesome to read this interview with you. You truly are an exceptional person and I miss your open and happy spirit. And I still remember that you are scared to death of squirrels…

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