Patricia Carey (center) is resigning from The Alligator on Jan. 1, 2019.

Patricia Carey originally wanted to be a teacher. She said she finds people interesting and wanted to teach sociology and psychology after she graduated from the University of Annhurst in 1972.

Instead, Carey’s path took her into the newspaper industry. She moved to Gainesville in 1980 after working in the sales departments at different commercial newspapers in Connecticut. Carey, 68, decided to interview for a job at The Independent Florida Alligator on a whim from her mother. She was then hired as the advertising director.

After working for The Alligator for 35 years — the last 12 of which she spent as the general manager — Carey announced her intention to retire at the beginning of 2019.

“I really thought that I had really done all I can for The Alligator,” Carey said. “There’s nothing else that I could do, so I decided to step aside to let somebody else do something new, innovative.”

The Board of Directors for Campus Communications, Inc. will decide on the next general manager of The Alligator.

Ellen Light, an administrative assistant at The Alligator, said she had mixed feelings when Carey told the production staff of her plans.

“I teased her. I said, ‘You couldn’t spare five more years until I retire?’” Light said. “I totally understood why and knew eventually that was going to happen.”

Follow Morgan McMullen on Twitter @morganmcmuffin and contact him at [email protected].