Victoria Angis isn’t one for sitting around. She cares about her work, and she isn’t going to let anything keep her from it.
In 2014, Angis found herself being lowered to the floor of her office as she looked up at her husband and coworkers. Panicked faces exchanged looks while a nurse screamed, “Get her on the floor! Get her on the floor!”
Angis was having a stroke, and she knew it. She wasn’t really afraid though: She had other things on her mind.
There was just one word she had to say to her husband.
Today was the last day of a class she was teaching at CCV, a day that her students would hand in the portfolios they spent all semester making. It was a big day for them, and like any of her classes, it was really important to her too.
That’s why Angis fought to speak. She ignored the stroke and the nurse trying to give her Aspirin. She stared up at her husband and said, “Ca-cla-cal-class!”
Bill Angis knew exactly what she meant, telling the others, “She wants me to go to class tonight.”
Where it started
Victoria Angis was undeclared when she started college in the ‘70s. She didn’t have a single clue what careers she might be interested in, much less what major. Because of that, Castleton’s assistant dean of students didn’t care much for the academic side of college at the time.
It wasn’t until sophomore year when a boy, her crush, invited her to a student union meeting that she first found her way into leadership. She didn’t care what the meeting was about when she agreed to go, but suddenly a concert club was formed and she was the treasurer.
Angis and the new club were a success, bringing popular bands to their New Hampshire campus. She started by talking student government into giving the group $20,000 and later ended as the club’s president.
It was during one of her last summer vacations that she found her biggest challenge. The club had just landed a huge contract with the band Chicago and their advisor wasn’t going to be there to help.
Angis was left to coordinate everything on her own.
“Oh my God,” she said reminiscing. “I can’t believe he’s going to let me do this by myself.”
The contract was massive and complicated, and planning the event was no small task either. She didn’t think she could handle it, but it turned out to be one of the things she’s best at.
“I remember standing up on the balcony of the Fieldhouse … and thinking, ‘I did this. I can do this! This is something I’m actually good at,’” she said. “And from that, I kind of just went into a career in Student Activities.”
A handmade poster from that day hangs framed above her desk.
But as Angis continued working, she realized it wasn’t quite what she’d hoped. As an orientation coordinator at Fitchburg State College, she was doing a lot, but it just wasn’t enough.
“This is not for me,” she said. “I want a place where I can do everything.”
After four years, Angis left the college in search of something more. Soon she was interviewing at Castleton State College, but wasn’t quite sold until she met with then President Tom Meyer.
The search committee had left her with a poor first impression, but Meyer made her stay.
“He looked at me and said, ‘You know, if you want to work someplace that you can make a difference and you will never work harder in your life, this is the place for you.’ And as soon as he said that, I realized that’s what I wanted,” Angis said.
Job of a lifetime
And that’s what she’s been doing for the last 38 years: Working hard, and making sure other’s do too.
“Victoria can be very intense at times. She has a real single-minded direction on how she thinks things should go,” said Matt Patry, who not only works with her now, but did so too as a student in the ‘80s. “But she’s also a person who always wants input from others. A lot of times it’s a lot easier to just do your own thing, but she always wants to make sure that she gets everybody’s input.”
Over the years, Angis has held numerous titles and performed in countless roles at Castleton. She’s involved in 14 different committees, enough where she brought a list along to an interview.
She’s not a materialistic person, but her room is a chaotic archive of her accomplishments. A bookshelf on the back wall is dedicated just to binders holding pictures and documents from every year she’s worked with the Student Orientation Staff. On top are boxes full of gifts they’ve given her.
Beside the shelf are accomplishments yet to come. Stacks of boxes full of potential projects sit waiting for a day when she can work on them.
Her computer files stay organized while the rim of her monitor is lined with sticky notes. Behind her desk is a larger bookcase carrying even more binders and mementos. On one wall hang half a dozen placards, while some others lay flat the windowsill.
“I think of her as a mentor,” said Dean of Students Dennis Proulx, whose picture can be found within one of those S.O.S binders. “She lives and breathes Castleton in total. She’ll do anything it takes to help Castleton out. That’s her personality.”
After her stroke, Angis spent months in physical therapy relearning how to do everything. Throughout that time, her commitment didn’t waver. She knew she would be back eventually.
“Because I didn’t want to leave things undone,” she said. “I want to leave on my own terms, not because my body gave out on me, you know? I always wanted to come back. I love it here.”