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Thanks & Recognition: Ardis Flenniken

Contributed by Debbie Salazar

Ardis Flenniken enjoys curling up with a good mystery novel and looking through cookbook collections. She also loves giving back to the community and the campus that helped to transform her into the person that she is today. Ardis transferred to CSUN in 1972 from Grossmont Community College in El Cajon, California. In 1978 she received a Master of Arts in Music and followed that with a Master of Arts in Linguistics in 1984. While attending CSUN, Ardis was hired as a student worker in the Intense English Program (IEP) known today as the International Programs and Partnerships (IPP); a program that teaches English as a Second Language/English as a Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) to International Students at CSUN.

Ardis Flenniken
Ardis Flenniken

During her studies at CSUN, Ardis also spent time as a student worker in the Music & Media Department in the Oviatt Library. This is when Ardis came to realize that libraries are a treasure trove of information. She was amazed to discover the many resources, tools, and assistance that the Oviatt Library had to offer. “While working on my Master’s in Music I could get books delivered from other campuses through Interlibrary Loan,” says Ardis. “I was also able to receive microfiche for specific treatise from the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, which was so impressive.”

A campus neighbor, Ardis still visits the Oviatt Library on a regular basis. She enjoys browsing through special exhibits and visiting the Bob and Maureen Gohstand Leisure Reading Room, where she discovered a mystery novel by Naomi Hirahara, now one of her favorite authors. For Ardis, the Library is a great place to concentrate and to escape from life’s daily distractions, “When I need a quiet place to review important papers, I go there and find a study carrel so I can hear myself think.”

Having lived in Northridge for quite some time now, Ardis feels anchored and cares deeply about her home and community. It is largely this sense of connection that has inspired her to give back. While teaching ESL/EFL, Ardis developed a close relationship with her supervisor, Daniele Dibie. “She became almost like family,” says Ardis. After Daniele’s sudden passing in 2007, Ardis was reminded that we are not always going to be here. When a scholarship was set up in Daniele’s honor, something was stirred in Ardis. This is when she began to explore the possibility of establishing a planned gift to the Library. “People are not always thinking of when they pass on - it’s not a fun subject,” she says. “One of the greatest gifts my mother gave me was a desire to be prepared.”

Ardis feels that her planned gift not only creates a legacy that will continue to give back after she is no longer here, but also gives her the satisfaction of “taking care of business.” “Planning your estate, no matter how modest, is a real gift to whomever you leave behind. It makes it easy for someone to go through the steps to implement your wishes, and it helps to know all the while that people will benefit from your contribution.”

Ardis firmly believes that applying theory to practice is a great way to solve problems, and she asserts that we should all strive to be critical thinkers, a value she’d like to impart to the younger generation. Ardis enjoys being around CSUN students on campus and in the Oviatt. In her eyes young people are the future, and she knows that every student’s success depends on a variety of factors. “It’s important to help give them the tools they need to be successful,” she says. CSUN and the Oviatt Library couldn’t agree more. Thank you, Ardis.

For more information about Planned Giving, or one of the many other ways to give to the Library, please click on one of the giving links in this newsletter, or contact Joyclyn Dunham via email, or at (818) 677-2638.