Faces of Witt: Jo Ann Berry

While sifting through countless packages, greeting cards, and letters, Jo Ann Berry shares some of what she has seen in the past 19 years working in Wittenberg’s mailroom.

“We did 10,300 plus packages last year,” shared Berry, referring to a pad of handwritten notes. “We order 15,000 packages slips a year. In August we received 1,500 packages alone.”

Berry keeps track of everything that goes in and out of the mailroom. Berry said that a majority of the packages come in the beginning part of the semester due to students ordering books and clothes at the beginning of the year. However, she seen a lot more move through the mailroom than that.

“We get refrigerators, golf clubs, futons, bikes, anything you can imagine,” said Berry. “We also get a lot of greeting cards and some letters. I love hand written letters.”

When Berry is out of the mailroom she has a variety of things she loves to do, from swimming, to gardening, to baking, to spending time with her grandchildren.

According to Berry, she has two passions: flowers and her grandchildren. Her favorite flowers are impatiens and begonias, which she keeps in her garden at home.

Berry has 11 grandchildren and loves spending time with them, especially on holidays.

“Thanksgiving is wonderful, we have 20 plus people and it’s a great time,” said Berry.

Berry’s grandchildren love their grandmother’s cooking as well. She said “as soon as they hit the door they say ‘oh, it smells so good.’”

“I make a special cheesy potato dish that they love,” said Berry. “I have one grandson that says ‘grandma I don’t want any desert I just want more potatoes.’ He’s six.”

As for those students lucky enough to work with Berry in the mailroom, they get a special treat when she bakes.

“I make a sour cream coffee cake that everyone here loves,” said Berry.

Berry hopes to retire in the next few years and travel, another passion of hers.

“I would like to travel any where and everywhere,” said Berry. “I’d really love to travel by car out west, I hear it’s beautiful.”

Berry talked about getting an RV and traveling around to see her four children sprinkled through the United States from Connecticut to Washington.

As for now, Berry’s still in the mailroom during the week, making sure students get packages, letters, and cards.

“I love my job, and I love the people here,” said Berry.

Next time you’re by the mailroom, make sure to stop and say thank you to Jo Ann Berry, the woman that makes sure everyone gets their packages and letters on time.

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