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Retiring Hero

Retiring Hero

Cassie Ragenovich Retires After 45 Years 

By Lauren Vizcarra 

After winter quarter, Cassie Ragenovich, the director of student financial services, is retiring after 45 years on the job. Ragenovich graduated from Walla Walla University in 1974 and came back to work for the school in June 1975. Ragenovich confides, “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have the privilege of working for Walla Walla University.”1 

“The Retiring Hero,” Cassie Ragenovich. Photo by Chris Drake. 

Ragenovich grew up on a farm in Idaho that has been owned by five generations of her family. Every day before high school she would help her father irrigate the fields. He would show her the hay field and talk about how it would pay for her and her sister’s tuition. Looking at the sad hay field, Ragenovich was worried that she wouldn’t get to go to college, but as they were loading up the car to go to Walla Walla, her dad came out of the house and announced he had just sold the hay for the highest price ever.2  

God has provided for Ragenovich and all the students she has been tasked with to help. She gives all the glory to him. Originally, when she first took the job, it was only going to be for two years. Praying to God, she promised that she would be in it for the long haul if she and God would always work in partnership together. Now, 45 years later, God has remained faithful.3 

Amanda Fleck, associate director of student loans, says that Ragenovich is a very godly and generous person. Fleck talked about how Ragenovich leads a daily devotional meeting every morning (which is now on Microsoft Teams during these COVID-19 times). In the past, she has always hosted a Christmas party for her staff. According to Fleck, they see themselves as a family.4 

“Cassie is a people person,” says Doug Taylor, associate director of student financial services. He goes on to talk about how working in the student financial services department is sometimes hard because Ragenovich and Taylor deal with sensitive topics such as money, but that Ragenovich has a way with people and her easygoing nature puts them at ease.5 

Ragenovich really cares for each student. There was a student with no financial resources to finish his last quarter at WWU. Ragenovich met with him and they decided to take their worries to God in prayer. Two days later she received a call from a local elderly woman who wanted to give money to students in need. The money she donated was the exact amount the student needed to pay for his last quarter.6 

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Kathy Iwasa, who will take over as director, was an answer to prayer according to Ragenovich. She has the utmost confidence that Iwasa will do a great job and is excited to be handing over the mantle to her. Ragenovich knows that God still has big plans for WWU and that he will continue to provide financial aid to all the students who require it.7   

Deciding to retire has been a hard decision for Ragenovich. She’s decided that it is time for a new chapter in her life, but she still plans to be involved with the WWU campus in whatever ways she can. Gardening has always been one of her passions and she plans to do lots of it in her free time. Wherever life takes Ragenovich next, she knows God has a plan for her.8 

Citations  

  1. Interview with Cassie Ragenovich, 10/28/20. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Interview with Amanda Fleck, 10/29/20. 
  1. Interview with Doug Taylor, 10/28/20. 
  1. Interview with Cassie Ragenovich, 10/28/20. 
  1. Ibid. 
  1. Ibid.  
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