“I have very vague memories of living in this building.”
It’s come full circle.
“That room, part of that room was probably my bedroom.”
Carol Jensen Bamford’s life at Grand View University."
“My dad worked here for 40 years.”
She grew up here (actually right here in Humphrey Hall).
“I played on campus…I knew the students…a lot of the students babysat for me,” she remembers.
Carol’s roots — nearly all of them — connect here: the school where her grandparents met as Danish immigrants; the place where her mother met her father, Harry Jensen, who would become one of Grand View’s most charismatic leaders, and leave his name, literally, all over campus.
“He cast a big shadow,” she says, looking at the words "Jensen Hall" over one of the buildings on campus.
The Jensens and Grand View go way back. All the way back to the beginning, in fact.
They can remember when the student body could fit into one car, when Humphrey Hall was still in two pieces, and when those pieces were virtually all there was to Des Moines’ east side.
Grand View was a completely different place when Carol returned to take over the marketing department in 2003. She’d been an executive in Michigan and thus the obvious question follows.
"Yes! I took a rather substantial pay cut to come here," she laughs. "But that wasn’t what it was about, that wasn’t what mattered.”
What mattered was coming home — and doing her part to secure the future for the place that held so much of her past.
Her team remembers that first day.
“I remember sitting down in her office and just looking at them and she’s like ‘Okay, this is what we’re gonna do, this is our plan,’” remembers Kelly Daniel, who's worked under Jensen Bamford ever since.
Carol’s marketing work has helped grow everything from Grand View’s enrollment to its campus. And thus when she announced she’d be retiring this week, the news was hard to take.
“While I’m leaving my full-time employment, I’m not leaving Grand View,” she says.
She’ll still do some teaching and advise President Kent Henning. It's probably safe to say she could never completely leave a place, that never left her.
“It feels a lot like home.”