McHodgkin’s retirement

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Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Jim McHodgkins prepares for his retirement date on Feb. 23, 2018 making his time at the university just over the 31 years mark. Jennifer Dettwiller/The Lion's Roar 

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Jim McHodgkins will retire from the university after serving in different positions throughout his 31 years.

McHodgkins said that the exact day he started working at the university was Feb. 2, 1987, and his last official workday is scheduled for Feb. 23. He explained why he started thinking about retirement and the difficulties he faced when making the decision.

“I probably decided about six months ago, and yes it was kind of a hard decision ’cause I really enjoy what I’m doing,” said McHodgkins. “I was looking at just the financials. I just got double knee surgery done. So, I have brand new knees and I’m still fairly young. I’d get out and do a lot more things. And I felt that at this point, I’ve got the years in, and it would give me new opportunities.”

McHodgkins discussed the gratification he felt throughout his experiences contributing and developing in the university.

“Getting a chance to work with so many different students and then being able to do great things for them,” said McHodgkins. “One of the things I’m really proud of is that I had a big part in getting the Pennington Center up and going and helped with the construction of that. So, that was one of the things I’m really proud of.”

One experience that has left a lasting mark on McHodgkins is attending university students’ funerals.

“One of the things that is one of my duties probably over the last 20 years that I have done, is I attend all student funerals,” said McHodgkins. “So, if a student passes away during the year, I go to the wake and the funerals. That was kind of touching because you meet the families; I help those families get through the process of things that they have to do on campus, whether it’s returning textbooks or closing out accounts or working with them to help get the stuff out of the housing. That can be a very emotional time for the families, and it also can be a very emotional time for me because I’m dealing with those individuals.”

McHodgkins finds it a rewarding circumstance because it says to the family, “I’m from the university and I’m here for you,” showing that the university cares for the students and he hopes to make the process a little easier. He explained he has probably been to around 30 plus funerals, and families he encounters are appreciative of the experience.

McHodgkins, throughout the years at the university, has also helped out with Student Government Association with some referendums they have done and has found it a rewarding experience with the amount of students and different people he has had the chance to work with.

McHodgkins, aside from being the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, has been impactful towards the university in his previous roles for the university.

“When I was director of recreational sports, I spent about 10 years in each one,” said McHodgkins. “I was in charge of all the recreation programs on campus. Everything from intramurals to open rec to aerobics classes. So, I helped create all those different programs, and that’s when we decided to try to go and try to get the Pennington Center.” 

When McHodgkins was Assistant Dean of Student Development, he assisted and worked with different departments within student affairs.

“Such as SGA, rec. sports, multicultural at that point we had Greek life and we had student organizations, which is now student engagement,” said McHodgkins. “So, there was a lot of different areas, the counseling center, I worked with a lot of departments within student affairs and just helping them develop their program.”