Jane Himes, the unsung hero of Liberty University
With a campus as large as Liberty’s, there are many unsung heroes working behind-the-scenes doing the little things that make sure everything runs smoothly, without ever being recognized themselves for their service.
One such unsung hero is Mrs. Jane Himes of Liberty’s Information Technology Department. Himes works as a business relationships manager for information technology and has worked at Liberty since 2000.
Himes also works as an unofficial coordinator of university moves, which means she organizes any moving plans not related to student housing. She has done this at Liberty since 2004.
Himes describes her job as essentially to move things from point A to point B, whether that means a faculty member moving into a new office or the entire School of Divinity moving into the newly-built Freedom Tower.
Business Relationships Manager for Information Technology Craig Hara has been working with Himes for over five years and said Himes is incredibly reliable when it comes to executing these campus moves.
“She is the type of person that you can just rely upon to get anything done, and you’re not really sure how she gets it all done,” Hara said. “Jane has such a unique skill set for the role that she’s able to provide, she wears a lot of hats with her job and they’re all important, but she helps keep things on track from all sides.”
Hara said that many of the faculty and staff know Himes and that she is able to be a calming presence for those who are in the process of moving.
“Moving is a thing that generally most people hate and it’s easy to become flustered with all of the moving parts in a move. The fact she is able to keep so even-keeled is a statement of her character,” Hara said. “It’s the small things she does that calm people’s nerves. Most people in the faculty just know her as ‘the nice lady who helped me move my things,’ but most people don’t know just how much work and organization goes into it.”
Hara said that Himes is almost irreplaceable because she has such a niche position.
“She got sick for a couple weeks once before and missed work, and it was very apparent the wealth of knowledge that she has and the skillset she has and the relationships that she has formed when she was gone,” Hara said. “It was very apparent when she was missing, and we tried to find a replacement for her just for that short time and no one fit the mold of what she had created.”
Himes said she works with a number of different types of people in coordinating and scheduling moves.
“Typically, I work with facilities management, events crew or people that physically move stuff, IT, and (the) department of whoever is moving,” Himes said. “A lot of things in a move people don’t consider such as keys, refrigerators defrosting, correctly labeling boxes and new mailing addresses. Moves are also time sensitive moves because the computers and call centers can’t be offline for more than 24 hours.”
Although this is a job that often goes unnoticed, Himes said that more than anything, she wants to have a positive influence on those that she interacts with.
“I want them to be glad that I was there to help with their move,” Himes said.
Himes said she would encourage Liberty students to be open for what God has in store for them whatever the job may be in the future. She recalled a story of a man who worked with Billy Graham during his ministry as an example of humble service.
“I think of the ministry of Billy Graham, and he had a guy that followed him around so that he always had his suitcoat and his Bible with him when he preached,” Himes said. “That’s all that he did, but without him, Pastor Graham wouldn’t have been effective in his ministry. People never saw him, but he had a really important job.”
Himes said whatever the job, God has a purpose for all of our lives in the jobs we do day-to-day.
“God has a job for each of us and not all jobs are up-front jobs where everybody sees us. It might be helping people, whatever that job is, everybody has a place that God can use them in and we should work on that until he gives us something else to do.”