Every time she rides up in the security van, there is a welcoming feeling excited within every student on campus. Teresa Lawson has transcended late-shift security officer, becoming something more cherished; she is a valuable member to the Maryville College community, as well as a dear friend to everyone that attends or works at the college.
Although her aptitude at doing her job is admirable, there is more to the woman that circles the campus night after night, ensuring the safety and security of those within its boundaries.
For nearly 14 years, Lawson has worked on the security staff.
“I thoroughly enjoy it,” said Lawson, who claims that she has been treated as a member of the MC family for more than decade.
When Lawson initially came to the college, it was one of three jobs that she was working in order to support her family.
“I first came here in 1998,” she said. “My husband is disabled, and I have three daughters … so I needed to pick up another job in order to ensure my family’s financial security.”
She quickly became a full-time staff member and began taking over the 4 p.m.-12 p.m. shift.
Patrick Dalton, a senior music major, commented on her friendliness and initiative in helping others whenever they need her assistance.
“I always felt like Teresa was extremely approachable,” Dalton said. “If you ever needed to get into a building because you forgot something or needed your car jumped off, she was always eager to help, and she made no fuss about it.”
Despite her calm demeanor and ability to connect with those around her, Lawson is no pushover.
She is the only girl of 14 children, and she was orphaned at the age of 2, forcing her and her brothers into an orphanage. By the time she had reached her teen years, she had been in 18 foster homes.
To put her past circumstances behind her, she decided to go out in the world when she was of age. Through her experiences, she has developed an adept knack for learning about others and possesses a resounding sense of respect for not only other staff members and faculty, but for the students as well.
“These kids will soon be going out into the world to become adults and make names for themselves, so you have to treat them like adults,” she said.
It is due to Lawson’s subtle worldliness that she commands admiration from her colleagues and co-workers.
However, on the surface, she is a cordial woman that loves NASCAR to a degree that would challenge any racecar enthusiast and still mourns the loss of the legendary No. 3.
Altogether, Lawson is a delightful human being who excites the kindness and decency in all of us.
There is something to be said about a person who has a sincere concern and reverence for life and people, and Lawson properly embodies that concept to the fullest extent.