25 Years @ Midd with Michele McHugh

In this post we recognize Michele McHugh, Senior Acquisitions Associate, for her 25 years of Service to Middlebury. Michele shares her favorite hobbies, recalls an admired mentor, and offers some advice to new employees. Read on to learn more about Midd from Michele’s point of view.

What did you do prior to work at Middlebury College and where were you located?

I was the Head of Circulation at the Leominster Public Library, in Leominster, MA.

What job titles have you held while working at Middlebury?

I have had the same job for 25 years, though my title has changed a few times.  I do not recall what it was called previously.

Take us back to your first year as an employee at the College. What were the most significant things happening in your life outside of work then?

Moving back  after having been living away for six years.  In 1988 I graduated from Middlebury College and in 1994 I was back as an employee.  I applied for the position at Starr Library and believed I would do that for just a few years and then find another job/career.  Well, I’m still here.

What are the most significant things happening in your life outside of work now (that you’d like to share)?

This is a wonderful place to live and I try to take advantage of all that is offered.  I am a trumpet player in a few bands in the area and also enjoy spending time outside. Especially in winter!

Have your interests/hobbies/athletic endeavors changed over the past 25 years? Have any of these been influenced by your work at the College or due to your association with others who work here?

For quite a few years I was a member of the Ralph Myhre Golf course and enjoyed that very much. I took lessons here as well.  My Dad loved to play too, when he would come visit.  I also have taken various classes over the years that some of my coworkers have taught, including Toastmasters , Log Rolling and Swing Dancing.  I always check the Winter Term course offerings and activity calendars to see if something new to me is being offered.

Many people change jobs/careers multiple times in their working life. Something must have kept you here for 25 years. Is it anything that you can put into words?

The Middlebury College Library has provided a superb community of people with whom I have worked over the years.   Also, the Middlebury area community quickly felt like home to me back in 1994 and I still feel that contentment.

What are your plans for the next 25 years?

I do not have any specific plans for the next quarter century. I hope to stay well and be able to enjoy my life.  Whether I retire here in the Middlebury area, or move away, we’ll see what happens.

Is there any person on campus (or retiree, former employer) that mentored you, or you feel helped you grow into your job, grow to enjoy your work and your time at the College? 

The man who interviewed me and became my supervisor is Bill Warren.  He worked at the Middlebury College Library for more than 25 years and was my colleague until his retirement in 2010.   Bill has a very egalitarian way by treating everyone with the same amount of respect: whether a student, a fellow employee or a trustee.  I very much admire his ability to do that, without allowing title, personality or demeanor effect how he treats people. I hope I learned how to treat people in the same, fair way.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new employee at Middlebury, what would it be?

Take advantage of the College environs:  Bread Loaf, the Snow Bowl, the walking/hiking trail around the Ralph Myhre Golf Course, walking to the Knoll.  I love to walk at all of these places.  Wherever your new job may be—explore the entire campus.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about your time at Middlebury?

I have had three roles at Middlebury College: student, alum and employee.  I had a tremendous experience in college and a few years ago I would have said, without hesitation, that this is the most wonderful place to work.  I’m afraid recent events have colored my view of the institution and I do not feel as positive right now.  But maybe someday my affection for the College will return.