Gettysburg Campus Safety Officer Ricky Pearce Retires
By Alicia Method, Staff Writer
This past fall, Campus Safety Officer Ricky Pearce retired after eleven years at Gettysburg College. Pearce was known for connecting with students on a personal basis.
Before coming to Gettysburg, Pearce worked for the National Park Service at Gettysburg. When he saw an opening at the college campus in 2012, he decided to apply.
Pearce listed his first year working at the college as one of his fondest memories at Gettysburg. His first assignment was Paul Hall. He said that the residents were “welcoming and supportive, and the RC and RAs helped assist me in my transition with what my duties were. It put me on a good path for how I would do my job for the rest of the time I was here.”
Throughout his time at Gettysburg, Pearce also worked as a field training officer to prepare new officers for their job. As part of this assignment, he worked through scenario training with officers and credited students with making these scenarios more realistic. Their stellar acting and feedback contributed a great deal to new officer training.
When speaking about his personal work philosophy, Pearce continually emphasized the role that students play on campus and in his life.
“Students making it possible and making the difference, that’s the reason this place is great,” he said.
Pearce always encouraged students to let him know if he was ever not doing his best work, as, according to his work philosophy, he always wanted to give his best.
When asked about Pearce’s retirement and legacy, Assistant Director of Campus Safety Faith Biesecker commented on his “unparalleled ability to remember student names and bits of information about them.”
She also relayed a story about his work ethic and activities.
“Officer Pearce used to do an activity with his liaison groups where he asked a volunteer to squeeze as much toothpaste as possible out of a brand new tube of toothpaste. He would then ask the volunteer to put it all back in, which of course was impossible,” Biesecker said. “He used the activity as a reminder for students to be kind and to think twice about what they say to one another. Words have an impact on those around us and that is a life lesson we all need to learn.”
Post-retirement, Pearce is planning a trip with his wife, with whom he will be celebrating his fortieth anniversary in May. The couple will be visiting places such as Acadia National Park, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Many students at the school recalled Pearce’s ability to remember names and small details about the student body. Ronald Moyer ’23 told a story about Pearce.
“I went to his retirement party. We had asked him about his favorite memories and he brought up a memory of me and a lucky charm cereal bar that I offered him freshman year, and he still remembered me giving him that cereal bar and that was a special memory for him. He would always bring up that story,” said Moyer.
Moyer also noted that despite the distance created by COVID-19, Pearce always remembered him.
Cam Jury ’23 shared similar thoughts on Pearce’s ability to connect with students.
“Officer Pearce has been a welcoming addition to the Gettysburg community for all of his many years on campus,” Jury said. “Whether it’s going out of his way to personally introduce himself and get to know every one of his residents’ names, giving out candy to students during finals, or just always being a friendly face, he has brought so much endless joy to the students.”
Jury expressed that Pearce’s presence will be missed on campus.
“Pearce is clearly passionate about what he does, and I have never once heard anything but outstanding praise for him by all students. He will be missed on campus but should know he has a home with us always,” Jury said.
This article originally appeared on page 18 of the April 2023 edition of The Gettysburgian’s magazine.
May 7, 2023
Thank you Officer Pearce! Our daughter was in Muss last year and she always appreciated having you on watch. Enjoy your retirement!