Have you ever wondered, where is my place…how can I help…what is my purpose in life?
These are lifelong questions, although they become amplified when you retire. I was speaking with the Administrator that I worked for, at the conclusion of my career, as he loaded his vehicle with personal items from his office. This gentleman is an extraordinary hard worker. I walk the Campus of SIU most days and on the weekends. It was not unusual to see him coming or going from his office on both Saturdays and Sundays. Also, he arrived early in the morning, on weekdays, and stayed until late in the evening. The Vice Chancellor…lived Southern Illinois University…much as I did during my time there. SIU will miss Kevin Bame.
My friend and colleague, for many years, Brad Dillard…is cut from the same cloth. I remember Brad when he was a student employee…so many years ago. From those days until the present he has possessed a single-mindedness and determination to produce an excellent work product and to be a mentor and friend to all he encounters.
Brad, who is now the Director of Plant and Service Operations, is one of the most honest people that I have ever encountered. His care for the staff that work under his direction is unparalleled. He is a caring person and a consummate professional…that is always trying to make a positive difference for his beloved SIU and for the dedicated members of his organization.
I ran into Mr. Fred Gilbert, Painter Foreman, and one of his colleagues today on my Campus Walk. Fred is one of the nicest people that I know…and an extraordinary gifted painter. Also, he is a master Carver. This man leads one of the most productive Paint Shops that I have ever witnessed.
I often see my friend, David, in Morris Library, who is the Custodian there on the day shift. He is always working and endeavoring to improve the cleanliness and physical atmosphere for the students of our University. When I greet him…he is reluctant to stop…and will only do so for a moment because he is so focused on making a difference for SIU.
My friend, Ryan, cleans an extremely large custodial area that encompasses several large campus buildings, with a small crew to assist him. Ryan is a gentleman and a professional. He does not complain…he has been working ill for three weeks…and yet he is one of the most pleasant professionals you will ever have the privilege of meeting.
There is a scripture that says, ‘Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.’ Ecclesiastes 9:10 KJV