Angela Guess married her longtime sweetheart on Mother’s Day in 2003. Six months later, she suddenly found herself adjusting to life in the military — on an entirely new continent nonetheless — without her husband, Henry.
“I was deployed with a unit out of Mobile, Alabama in November to Iraq and Kuwait,” she recalled. “That was really hard.”
Guess was a food service officer and oversaw dining facilities as a member of the United States Army Reserve. She would not return home until October 2004.
While Clemson University is celebrating its military connections and heritage this week, colleagues on campus are preparing their goodbyes in a similar salute to Guess, who is retiring in December after 31 years of service to Clemson — the last 12 with Redfern Health Center.
“It’s bittersweet,” Guess said of retirement. “I always said when my daughter Tianna went to high school, I wanted to be there for her by traveling to support her with basketball and other activities. With our daughter getting older and our son Jaden growing up, I want to be the best mom I can possibly be to both of them.”
Henry was a wide receiver for the Tigers football team from 1991-95 and has worked with Clemson Football for many years as a mainstay in video services. Because of the family connection to the athletics department, one of the responsibilities Guess has handled for Redfern has been maintaining student-athlete immunization records.
Record-keeping was nothing to new to Guess when she arrived after a long stint with University Housing. She handled payroll for resident assistants and resident directors and eventually assumed the same responsibility for Police, Fire/EMS and Student Health Services. The latter ultimately led to her current role as a health information analyst at Redfern.
“We have a team of five who handles the scheduling for physicians,” she said. “We oversee health information, records and registration. We work with insurance companies. But the main thing is ensuring our students can be seen on an as-needed basis.”
She has seen Redfern evolve from the days of running paper charts to current times, where medical staff are able to access a student’s electronic health record in an instant. She describes the facility as a “one-stop shop” and said it offers reassurance to the many parents she comes across when a student does not have to leave Redfern to receive the entirety of help they need.
Guess said she will take with her indelible memories forged by a common goal among Redfern staff of promoting the health and well-being of Clemson students.
“My lasting memory will be the care we show students,” she said. “No matter what time they walk through the door, we’re going to take great care of them.”