Flashback Friday: “The phones rang all day long!”

This is our final Flashback Friday blog post in celebration of our 45th anniversary of Continuing Studies. We’ve enjoyed sharing our history with you over the last 26 posts and hope that you’ve enjoyed reminiscing with us. As we begin a new year, we are looking forward to one of our biggest years yet with our move to the new Anderson-Clarke Center in February. By remembering the past and our anticipation of the future, our commitment to the mission of providing lifelong personal and professional development to the citizens of Houston and beyond has only grown stronger. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. 

These days, if you want to register for one of our great classes, it’s usually pretty painless and quick, and you can do it any time of the day over the Internet.

Mary McIntire, 1987

Dean Mary McIntire, 1987

But not so long ago, you would have had to either mail us your registration form or call our office – sometimes several times just to get through. “For about four weeks at the beginning of every registration period, the phones rang all day long,” says Mary McIntire, dean of the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. “The program coordinators took the calls, and sometimes two or three were answering 15 to 20 calls per hour. It was exhausting,” she says.

And if you happened to not get through before 5:00 p.m., you’d have to wait until the next morning to try again. But never on a Saturday or Sunday or a holiday.

For several years, faxed registrations were quite popular, too. Phones rang all over the office, it seemed.

It wasn’t until 1998 when the school began to offer online registration. Suddenly you could register at any time that was convenient. Advances in technology and security have resulted in several upgrades to our online registration systems over the past 15 years and will most likely continue to do so.

We still have a few programs that, for various reasons, don’t take online registrations. But, thankfully, the vast majority are available online.  (You can peruse our spring line-up of classes here.)

Of course if you’d like to call us to register, we welcome the opportunity. We decided a long time ago that it was important to keep answering the phones with a “live” person, and we’ll be back from the university’s winter recess on January 2nd to take your call. Our main number is 713-348-4803.

We wish you a very happy 2014 and hope to see you on campus this spring!

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