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The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

Beloved SLU parking attendant celebrates 30 years of employment

Janette Holemon, parking attendant at the Laclede parking garage at Saint Louis University, poses for a photo with a group of Oriflamme students during move-in. (Jennifer Robb/Parking and Card Services)
Jennifer Robb
Janette Holemon, parking attendant at the Laclede parking garage at Saint Louis University, poses for a photo with a group of Oriflamme students during move-in. (Jennifer Robb/Parking and Card Services)

The sharp sounds of a whistle and the shouted greetings of a familiar face can be heard near the Laclede Avenue parking garage at Saint Louis University.

Most students know those are the sounds of the parking attendant, Janette Holemon.

“Every time I hear that whistle, it just makes my day better,” said Martha Allen, a SLU librarian who has seen Holemon every day for many years as she goes in and out of the garage.

Holemon celebrated her 30th anniversary at SLU during the 2023 fall semester. 

“It’s really a place to call home,” Holemon said of her time at SLU.

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Holemon has held many positions in her time at the university. In 1993, she started her journey at SLU in housekeeping in the Griesedieck Complex for six years. Then, she worked in mail services for five years. For the remaining 18 years, she has worked as a parking attendant. 

“She is like a ball of fire, she is so lively,” parking services assistant Jennifer Robb said.

Robb said that for Holemon’s 30th anniversary, the university took her out for lunch.While she was gone, her colleagues decorated her booth to celebrate. They also bought a big bag of Hershey’s Kisses for her to pass out to people as they leave. 

President Fred Pestello also gifted Holemon a floral bouquet to commemorate her time at SLU.

“I make sure people park in their proper places, I give directions, I give instructions and smile a lot,” Holemon said.

To the students and faculty, Holemon does so much more than that. 

“She makes her presence known at SLU,” sophomore Emi Hercules said. 

Hercules is part of Oriflamme, a group of student leaders who help freshmen move into their dorms. An integral part of the moving in process is the Laclede parking garage. 

During move-in in Aug. 2023, Holemon said she held up signs with the Billiken on them that say, “We’re glad you’re here” to settle the nerves of freshmen. 

Holemon said that she wants to “make sure that they know that someone is there for them.”

Students even take annual first day of school photos with Holemon, according to Robb

Robb said that Holemon cares so much about the students. If a student is visibly having a bad day, Holemon will get out of her booth and go talk to them.

“She’s the school’s grandma,” Robb said. 

Over the 30 years she has worked here, Holemon said that SLU has tremendously changed. Holemon said that SLU has grown to help people afford higher education. At the beginning of her career, Holemon said she did not see many international students. 

“It’s a joy to see the different groups of people in one community,” Holemon said. 

Holemon also has a vibrant life outside of SLU. She is a wife, a mother of two, a grandmother of five and a church-going Christian.

“We hear a lot about the Jesuit mission and serving others for the greater glory of God, and I can’t think of another person on this campus that is the living embodiment of that mission more than Ms. Janette,” Allen said. 

Holemon sells homemade brownies when she is not in her parking attendant booth. Her brownies were even recognized by Taste of Saint Louis, a popular local food festival.

Holemon said that she gives away her famous brownies to the students for free to make their day. 

She joked that once students get a job after college, they can buy her brownies. 

“The students are not able to buy my brownies because I said so,” Holemon said.

Holemon said that part of her brownie business is paying for her grandchildren’s education at the Christian Academy of Greater St. Louis. She strives to give each of her grandchildren $500 to pay for their education and needs.

Throughout her work day, Holemon talks to many students entering and leaving the garage, especially if they’re having a bad day. She said she wants to give them the encouragement they need to carry on. 

To the students, Holemon says, “Do not try to take the cares of life on your own.”

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