58.9 F

Bonnie Brown: Q&A with Former University Police Department’s Barbara Reynolds

Barbara Kinds Reynolds with her son, Kerry

I have known Barbara Kinds Reynolds and been friends with her for many years.  When I worked on campus, Barbara was always helpful with matters having to do with the University Police Department (UPD).  She was very knowledgeable and would go out of her way to be of service. I considered her to be capable, confident, and accomplished and thought of her as a little shy too.  But in doing this interview, I have peeled back a few layers about this beautiful lady and was quite surprised when I asked her to tell us something about herself that not many people know.  Read on to find out more about her.


Barbara Kinds Reynolds

Brown:  Are you an Oxford Native? What school did you attend?

Reynolds:  I was born on November 18, 1960, to James and Olivia Kinds in Oxford MS.  I attended Head Start at Gordon Elementary School as well and grade school.  When the school systems were integrated, I attended Lafayette Junior High School my 6th-grade year.  Lafayette High School is my alma mater.  I graduated in 1979.


Brown:  When did your Ole Miss story begin?  What positions have you held? How many years did you work on campus?

Reynolds:  My Ole Miss story began in April 1980 when I accepted employment with the Personnel Department (Human Resources).  

While in my Junior/senior year of high school, I attended the Business & Industrial Complex and took business administration classes under the instruction of Ms. Faye Massey and Ms. Dale Boatright.  They prepared me well and both played an instrumental part in my business education. After graduating high school, I went directly to work at two factories so I could take care of my child. I immediately realized that this type of work wasn’t for me and that I wanted a better career.  Since I attended the B & I Complex, the guidance counselor there, Mr. Dalton Anthony, called me to inquire if I was interested in applying for a position at the University. Of course, I was very interested and applied for the position as a receptionist in the Personnel Office and was offered the position.  I was 19 at the time.

My boss, Dr. B. J. Chain, Jr., was my mentor and suggested that I further my education by taking free courses at the University.  Although I wasn’t interested in attending college, I did take two English composition courses. I also worked in academic areas on campus – Political Science and Communicative Disorders.  I did not like working in the academic area and decided to venture out to the public school system where my son Kerry attended. He was a third-grader at the time. This was an excellent idea and I was able to spend more time with him and be off when he was out of school.  The pay wasn’t that great so during the summer of 1986, I started applying for jobs at the University.

Lo and behold, I applied for a job at the University of Mississippi Police Department (UPD) and I was offered the position.  My boss, Mike Stewart, Chief of Police, was an innovator and mentor and encouraged me to go beyond the norm. He pushed me out of my comfort zone to become the best employee I could be.  I worked at the UPD for 29 years until I retired. During my tenure at UPD, I worked with 5 chiefs who I admired and we all worked great together. I loved them all – we were a team!

I retired with 36.50 years of employment.

Brown:  Did you achieve your career goals?

Reynolds:  I exceeded my career goals.  When I went to work at the University, I was 19 years old and I was very determined that I was going to take care of my child who was 3 at the time.  I just wanted to work and provide for him, see to it that he received a good education, and give him a good life as my parents had provided for me. God had a plan for me that I did not realize until I was nearing retirement.  I give Him the praise and the Glory because of His grace and mercy for setting the stage for me to retire. He is such an awesome, amazing, and intentional God. It was amazing that I was able to retire at 55 years of age.

Brown:  What was your most challenging day at work and why?

Reynolds:  I had several challenging days at work.  The ones that stand out were when Officer Robert Langley died, as well as Captain William Sheffield’s passing.  When you work daily with your co-workers, you end up spending more time with them than your own family. You have a bond with them as your family.  Those were very trying times that took a toll on me. They were very challenging days and I had to pray for strength to keep on going. These two men meant a lot me, and it took daily prayer and supplication to gain strength to work.

Brown:  What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?  

Reynolds:  My greatest accomplishment, by the grace of God, is providing for my son.  He was born when I was 16 years old.  I had loving parents who supported me and provided me the opportunity to complete high school and helped me to take care of my son.  My son’s grandparents on his father’s side were very instrumental in assisting with his needs and care as well. Although there were many difficult trials and tribulations through it all, I wouldn’t trade anything for the journey.  Kerry has a great father who supported his needs as well. I am so grateful that he is now 41 years old and he is a loving and caring young man.  He ROCKS!

Brown:  Do you have any hobbies?

Reynolds:  I love gardening.  I have numerous flowers in my yard along with yard décor.  I named my flower garden “Olivia’s Garden” after my mother (my sweet angel) who is deceased.  The flowers keep me busy, but I enjoy every moment. I also like bargain shopping and looking around thrift stores.  You never know what “bargains” you will find. Most of all I enjoy eating, sleeping, relaxing, and watching “House Hunters” on HGTV.  

Brown:   What are you passionate about?

Reynolds:  I am passionate about family, friends, and my church family.  I attend Union Hill M. B. Church under the leadership of Rev. Porchia McGlown.  My church family gives me spiritual strength. I have grandchildren and great-grands and they are my heart and soul.  My only child, Kerry, keeps me rooted and grounded. He takes care of his mother and I am so proud of him. Family is everything – strength, motivation, and innovation.

Brown:  Talk about your new routine since your retirement from Ole Miss.

Reynolds:  The first day of my retirement, I woke up that morning and realized that I didn’t have a job.  That was an awesome feeling! I asked myself what do I do now – I’m free to do whatever I please.  It was sort of scary as well. It took me several months to find my place in the “retirement world.”  The first year, my OCD kicked in and I did some remodeling to the house, purchased a car, traveled, lived, laughed, cried, and really de-stressed and de-programmed.  After one year of retirement, I started working part-time. I really enjoy working and assisting people. It keeps my brain stronger and it keeps me vibrant. If it is God’s will, I plan to work until I’m 62.

My routine consists of going to work from 8am-1pm (Monday-Friday), sleeping (I do a lot of that), shopping, eating and more eating, visiting with family/friends, sleeping and more sleeping!  

Brown:  Tell us something about yourself that not many people may know.

Reynolds:  I am a very shy, quiet, and hardworking individual.  I love to be around people at times, but I can resort to being shy.   I am a homebody and love being around the house which is my “safe haven.”  I love decorating, watching horse racing, bull riding, and track and field. Y’all didn’t know THAT, did you?  

Bonnie Brown is a retired staff member of the University of Mississippi. She most recently served as Mentoring Coordinator for the Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy.

For questions or comments, email hottytoddynews@gmail.com.

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Most Popular

Recent Comments

scamasdscamith on News Watch Ole Miss
Frances Phillips on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Grace Hudditon on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Millie Johnston on A Bigger, Better Student Union
Binary options + Bitcoin = $ 1643 per week: https://8000-usd-per-day.blogspot.com.tr?b=46 on Beta Upsilon Chi: A Christian Brotherhood
Jay Mitchell on Reflections: The Square
Terry Wilcox SFCV USA RET on Oxford's Five Guys Announces Opening Date
Stephanie on Throwback Summer
organized religion is mans downfall on VP of Palmer Home Devotes Life to Finding Homes for Children
Paige Williams on Boyer: Best 10 Books of 2018
Keith mansel on Cleveland On Medgar Evans
Diane Gerstman on