‘Thoughtfulness and integrity’: Rehab Med says goodbye to cherished staff member after 27 years

Carol Gray, clinical education assistant in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders retired on July 1

Amanda Anderson - 22 July 2020

On July 1, 2020, Carol Gray, clinical education assistant in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders said goodbye to students and colleagues as she embarked on her retirement journey after 27 years.

Gray became a part of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine family in 1993, originally being hired as an office services senior clerk for the MSLP-Cat A program and SPA portion of the database for the Centre for Studies in Clinical Education. In 2000, when the department was still known as the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, her position received funding to carry on with assistance to the clinical activities of the department, as well as operations in the faculty’s Corbett Clinic.

“This role often put her in the role of ‘first responder’ for critical phone calls and emergencies,” said Lu-Anne McFarlane, the former associate chair in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders who also retired on July 1. “She was always there to provide a calm voice and quickly access whatever resources were needed.”

Gray’s office was also a ‘safe space’ for students to vent, cry, celebrate and laugh. 

“The students adored Carol,” said McFarlane. “She was always there with an encouraging word, and to remind them that what they were doing was important and that they would be great.”

Debra Martin, the department’s clinical program coordinator, also reiterated the student’s admiration for Gray.

“Carol became very familiar with each class during our in-house clinical placements, and she would get to know them well. She has an excellent memory for students and many keep in touch long after they start working, which speaks to the relationships she developed. Two of the students even coordinated and presented Carol with a special painting when they graduated.”

While the students will miss Gray’s presence, her colleagues will also be feeling the loss.

“My fondest memories of Carol were all the times she went above and beyond to support her colleagues and our students,” said McFarlane. “Her work behind the scenes was instrumental. We celebrate her successes and wish her well in what comes next.”

Congratulations on your retirement, Carol! The faculty, staff and students in Rehab Med wish you all the best as you enjoy this next phase of your life.