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University at Buffalo Libraries

University Archives

Jeannette Martin (d. 1976)

Jeanette Martin Administrative Assistant to the President of UB
Years at UB: 1922-1969

University Archives collection, 5/3/159

Jeannette Martin Navel (known to her colleagues as "Miss Martin") served four University Chancellors and Presidents over forty-seven years at UB. Navel began her work as an administrative assistant in the Office of the Chancellor the year Dr. Samuel P. Capen first arrived at the University (1922). In 1946, she was promoted to the position of Administrative Assistant to the Chancellor. She held this position throughout the presidencies of T. R. McConnell, Clifford C. Furnas, and Martin Meyerson. It was through her organization that these transitions betweens chancellors and presents remained smooth and operable.

Navel was also known for her role in the annual commencement ceremonies, where she ensured that all University faculty members were appropriately attired for the ceremony, even going so far as to supply unprepared professors with spare robes from her steamer trunk.

She participated in other University activities as a member of the Women's Club, the University Scholarship Committee of the Quota Club, and the Dean's Council.

Upon her retirement in 1969, the University put together a notebook full of letters of appreciation from her colleagues, co-workers and friends. (University Archives collection, 5/3/159). Emma Deters, the University Registrar, echoed many people's feelings when she described Navel in her letter:

For one to have been so closely associated with the University under four Chancellors and Presidents is a real achievement; to have demonstrated such flexibility is truly remarkable.

I have always admired your unfailing graciousness and have appreciated your understanding throughout the many difficult years, especially in the less affluent days of the University.

Today the women of the president's office are responsible for making sure that the President is able to keep up with all of his various duties. Although often anonymous, their contributions to the daily functioning of the University are immeasurable.


Other Photographs

Jeannette Martin giving a toast at her retirement party (President Martin Myerson is on her right) Jeannette Martin reading the letters in her retirement celebration notebook