New Student Activities Director aims to bring fun to campus
While a freshman in college, Greg McGrath spent two months as a computer science major before realizing he didn't want to sit in front of a computer screen all day. "I wanted to get out and talk to people and have some fun," said the 27-year-old from Schenectady, N.Y.
As Norwich's new Director of Student Activities, McGrath has already had plenty of opportunity to talk with people. Since his arrival, students have been lining up outside his door daily, eager to meet with him and discuss their ideas. And as far as fun is concerned, BG Mike Kelley '74 pinned the nickname "Mr. Fun" on McGrath at a Student Affairs staff retreat last August. The moniker has stuck, and now all McGrath has to do is live up to it.
McGrath comes to Norwich with an impressive resume. After graduating with a double major in Political Science and Criminal Justice from Plattsburgh State, he stayed on to earn his Master's in Leadership and Administration, and then served for one year as the assistant to the interim president of the university.
"He [the interim president] had identified me as an educated student who knew the area, knew the students, knew the campus, and knew higher education," said McGrath. "So he took me in to help him guide for a year." The following year, McGrath landed another job with the university, this time as the assistant director of student activities and multicultural programming.
When asked about his philosophy with regard to student activities, McGrath spoke of empowering the students.
"I don't want to force-feed the students. Specifically, I'd like them to come to me with an idea. I'll provide them with some information, some programming expertise, and send them out there to work on their goal, their vision. Then together we'll get done whatever it is that they want to have happen."
As for what excites him most about the job, McGrath mentioned the proposed new Campus Center.
"I am very excited about the new campus center, and helping it to take shape. I think it's going to be fantastic for students, for people visiting campus, for events. It's going to provide a great venue for club meetings and also for dining. It will open the doors to a lot of programming that we really can't do right now."
McGrath, who began his duties August 1, replaces Dr. Chan Stowell, who retired last June. The Student Activities office is located in 203 Harmon Hall, and can be reached by calling 802.485.2120.