Few who have dealt with Miss Mullen will ever forget her--her wavy gray hair, her keen eyes, her sharp outspokenness, her unconcealed contempt of all that is slovenly and inaccurate, her passion for work perfectly done, her boundless delight in flowers, her merciless insight, her royally generous and merciful heart.
For more than a quarter of a century she worked on University publications, again and again taking proof home for hard work out of hours. Not a comma escaped her if concentrated intelligence could prevent. In her love of detail there was no dull routine; there was deathless enthusiasm; no detail could deaden her; to whatever she touched she gave life. Indeed, she and a comma together would furnish any third part with lively commany.
Next to insincerity she scorned unintelligence, and was no respecter of persons in giving utterance to her scorn. "The Faculty," she said, "are the limit!" Certain modern methods in the Office she was pleased to call "the deficiency system." To her mind efficiency was the prerogative of individuals: any encroachment of the mechanical on the personal she balked at. "I was born saucy"; and, again, "I may lose my temper; but I never lose my head."
Her Irish wit was as irrepressible as her opinions. In war-time she remarked, "Seeing all these soldiers about here makes me feel that I should like to be a war bride myself; but of course, at my age, I couldn't look at anything short of a major general."
The University Gazette was her pride --the pride of proof-reader, editor, and guardian. On Wednesday, February 15, she was taken home from her office, threatened with death from failure of the heart; on Friday she persisted in getting up from her bed to read the proof of the Gazette. "There is nobody else to read it," she said. On Saturday morning, she died.
"I do think," she said once, "that they will miss me when I am gone." In a quarter-century of fearless truth-telling she said nothing truer. L. B. R. Briggs.