AACC mailworker retires after 52 years


Photo courtesy of Alford Shinaberry

Alford Shinaberry, AACC’s mailroom supervisor, will retire on Oct. 1 after 52 years with the college. His hobbies include skydiving. Shown, in a jump over Laurel Delaware.

Ava Herring, Diversity Editor

The employee who has worked the longest at AACC retired on Oct. 1 after 52 years in the mailroom. 

Alford Shinaberry, who turns 70 in November, started working in the campus mailroom in September 1970 when he was 17 years old. 

“I thought I’d probably get a job cutting the grass,” Shinaberry said, chuckling, “but it turned out that the guy that previously worked in the mailroom gave his two weeks, so they asked me if I’d be interested in doing that and I was like, ‘I’ll do anything. I’m here to get a job.’” 

Shinaberry, who worked his way up to mailroom supervisor, said he stayed in the mailroom  because he enjoyed it.

“I get to go out and make deliveries and I get a whole bunch of smiles everywhere I go,” Shinaberry said. “That’s the main reason. Also, I got to be good at it.” 

Shinaberry, who is originally from Glen Burnie, is most popular off campus for his motorcycle riding, backflipping off of rope swings at Beaver Dam Swim Club, and skydiving 2,590 times. 

“I’m quite the adrenaline junkie,” Shinaberry, who is about to become a great-grandfather, said. “It’s probably amazing that I’m still alive and walking.”

He recalled one of his many jumps: “I jumped out of a plane and landed where we were having a big picnic party for all the AACC employees, and I landed in the middle of it,” Shinaberry said. 

Some of his favorite memories are about his experiences at AACC.

Shinaberry said “the people here treated him like they were in one big family, “I got to be friends with a lot of people,” Shinaberry said, “I’m going to miss it.”

Shinaberry said he is retiring now because, “Oh, I think it’s time. … I have loved this experience. I really have enjoyed it and I wouldn’t change anything. I think the biggest thing, the most powerful thing for me, is that I have an abundance, a wealth of smiles. I’m going to miss seeing people and seeing the students.”

Shinaberry’s post-retirement plans include visiting his retired skydiving friends in Florida. He also plans to spend more time with his family.

“I have two daughters,” Shinaberry said. “They’re grown up now, but when they were little, I taught them to swim [at AACC] in the indoor swimming pool here, and they had diving boards they could go off of. We’d go swimming, and then we’d go sled riding down the hills here. I would take them with me on my routes sometimes, and everyone loved to see them.”