Our Word: In Rec, McMinn is the man

By Gus Bode

Another Saluki who lives to serve his students, director of Recreational Sports and Services Bill McMinn, is getting ready to retire. Come December, this 25-year mainstay of the Recreation Center will start a new chapter of his life helping underprivileged in southern Illinois.

This type of campus personality should be celebrated. McMinn has long been lauded by students and co-workers for his pleasant personality and humble nature. The 300 students who work at the Rec have all benefited from McMinn’s throwback leadership, which he learned while serving in the Marines during the Vietnam War.

Throughout decades of change at the Rec, McMinn maintained his steady presence, leading the hundreds of student workers there and ensuring that the thousands who visit every day get the best service that can be offered.

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McMinn is far from a taskmaster, though. If anything, he always looked to better serve SIUC, starting with those under him.

“I think it’s important for (students) to know that I got their back,” McMinn said in Friday’s DAILY EGYPTIAN. “I am genuinely concerned not just about how they’re doing here but how they’re doing in school and how they’re doing in life.”

Rarely has the role of a university worker been summed up as well as it was there.

Also McMinn credits the university for providing a place where he could do his work.

“Very seldom you’ll see a university of this size that has a genuine, sincere compassion for its students,” McMinn said.

With McMinn’s retirement, a little bit of that compassion will be lost.

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