Much like the experience of prospective students touring campus for the first time, the pond captured the attention of Lenny Aurand when he first came to Millersville University (MU) in August 1972.
“It was one of the first things I noticed,” he remembers. “It just seems to be the signature area of campus and it’s part of the original campus.”
Unlike those students, Aurand was not looking to receive an education at Millersville, and his time at the University lasted a little longer than the traditional four years.
After nearly 45 years working at MU, Aurand will retire on May 15, 2017. Aurand began working at the University after graduating from Bloomsburg University with a degrees in secondary education and history. The college graduate got his foot in the door as a janitor. A couple years later he became a lead worker and then a night custodial supervisor. By 1978, Aurand was promoted to the assistant manager of housekeeping, before assuming his current role as director of that department in 1989.
Although he never worked in the classroom, Aurand’s education has come in handy throughout his career. “There’s a certain amount of teaching and mentoring in my position, particularly with new employees and with supervisors who work for me,” he explains.
As Director of Housekeeping, Aurand oversees the cleaning operation on campus, administers the indoor pest control contract and oversees the setting up for most indoor University events. For two years he acted as the co-director of Facilities until the position could be permanently filled, and he also managed the grounds crew for six years. He has recently relinquished management of the grounds crew due to his impending retirement.
One of Aurand’s most memorable experiences as director was heading the set up for Ronald Reagan’s visit to Pucillo Gymnasium during his reelection campaign in October 1984. The housekeeping director remembers three days of secret service safety precautions, briefly meeting the then-President after he landed on Pucillo Field and the official White House gift bags.
“He was big on jelly beans, so we got a souvenir bag with jelly beans and other things from the President’s office with little seals on them and everything,” Aurand recounts.
Despite the many events and experiences a 45-year career brings, Aurand will miss the people the most. “I will miss the professional and personal relationships that I’ve forged over the years,” Aurand says. “I’ve seen a lot of people come and go, and I’m sure there’s a few people I’ll remain in contact with. I’ve had a pretty good working relationship with most of the people on campus.”
Upon his retirement in May, Aurand plans to continue living in Pequea Township, where he and his wife have resided since he was hired at MU in 1972. His main focus is to spend as much time with family as possible, including his son’s family in Virginia and daughter’s family in Illinois.
“Right now my main thrust will be seeing my grandkids and my kids,” says Aurand. “We don’t get to see them that often. Now we can go any time we feel like it.”
Aurand also plans to add more races to his collection of Indy 500 and Daytona 500 attendances, and spend more time on the pistol range. “I’ve seen a lot of the things I want to see. I’ve done a lot of the things I want to do. I just want to do more of them now,” he says.
Aurand’s three grandchildren also happen to be big fans of the Millersville pond. When they come to visit, Aurand and his wife bring them to the pond to feed the ducks and squirrels. So even as this dedicated employee sets work aside and brings family to the forefront, Aurand may pay some visits back to MU as his new retirement schedule allows.