If you’ve ever had an afternoon class in Leavenworth Hall, then you’ve likely come across a tiny woman with a very big smile cleaning the glass doors as you enter the building.
That would be beloved custodian Tita Annis, and this May she will be saying goodbye to her Castleton family after 22 faithful years of employment.
Annis emigrated to the United States from the Philippines in 1993 with her now ex-husband and was hired by the university in 1995.
Castleton has been her home ever since.
Now, she’s preparing for retirement and to be reunited with her family, who are currently waiting for her at her brand new bungalow home in Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
According to Annis, years of working seven days a week in the U.S. paid off because her Social Security benefits will allow her to live a comfortable lifestyle when she heads back home.
“One dollar equals 51 pesos in the Philippines. Last week I bought a property that cost me $20,000, it listed for one million pesos. Two bedrooms, front and back patio, everything is marble. I get $1,000, or 51,000 pesos each month,” Annis proudly exclaimed, smiling from ear to ear.
With her benefits, she plans to invest and grow her fortune. Annis’ first business venture will be opening a local convenience store outside of her home that will have everything from gas to groceries.
While she looks forward to going home to be with her loved ones and to begin the next chapter of her life, she will never forget all the love she’s received here over the years.
“I have worked in buildings all over campus. Leavenworth is my favorite, they are like family. Everyone is so nice to me and I love the professors here,” Annis said.
Spanish professor Delma Wood has known Annis since she started working in Leavenworth as a custodian. Annis and Wood share some commonality, as both emigrated from their home countries to come the U.S.
Wood said they talk together nearly everyday and have formed a close friendship over the years. She said Annis leaving will be bitter-sweet.
“She’s a dear friend to me…Tita, you’re a wonderful person. Enjoy your life.”
Tina Johnson, custodian for Hoff Hall, said she only works with Annis during the summer, but has always had a pleasant experience with her.
“She’s a very hard worker, it amazes me how a woman her age can go the way she goes. I’m gonna miss her. She is really is a sweetheart and I wish the best for her,” Johnson said.