Campus big brother shares a smile
Laurinburg, N.C. - Walk into the Office of Student Affairs at St. Andrews and you'll see Director of Housing Services Will McPhaul sitting behind his desk with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye.
"The people keep me laughing," he said. "I always want to be smiling. Whether it's with students, maintenance, cafeteria workers, co-workers, they all give me something to smile about."
It is a smile McPhaul has been sharing with the campus since 2007 when a call from now Senior Associate Dean of Students Lewis Stroud.
"Lewis had a bar in Fayetteville and I bounced for him," McPhaul said, who still bounces on occasion. "He called and said there was a job opening at St. Andrews. I applied and got the position."
The position was Director of Intramurals and Resident Director of Orange Hall. Within a year, the position had changed to Resident Director of Concord and also started to include more of the housing responsibilities.
"Other duties as assigned is my favorite," McPhaul laughs when asked about what his job responsibilities are. Among his documented responsibilities are matching roommates, processing work orders, providing keys for housing, working with student billing, assigning mailboxes, updating campus databases, providing security at athletic events and driving vans for athletics.
"It's always fun when the coaches get lost going places and wind up following me," he said.
That leadership ability is something McPhaul plans to continue to use in the professional arena.
"I'd like to keep moving up and one day sit in (College President) Paul (Baldasare)’s office," he said. "I know it’s a lot of work but it's something to aspire to."
McPhaul, referred to as one of the most outgoing people you'll ever meet by Stroud, enjoys golf, listening to music, bouncing and meeting new people. This outgoing personality is part of the reason why he is considered the big brother of student affairs.
"It's Grandpa Lewis, Uncle Glenn (Batten, dean of students) and Big Brother Will," McPhaul said. "And I need to go on record that I am not responsible for my business cards and the nickname Forklift."
The business cards, coordinated by Batten and Stroud, have created a cycle of each new group of students and parents referring to McPhaul as "Forklift" during move in times. It is during that busy period at the start of the year that he gets to use his bouncer's physique to move furniture around the residence halls.
"It's a kind of therapy," he said.
Another therapy for McPhaul is making people smile.
"(Former Dean of Students) Marti Newbold told Lewis and I we were not allowed to wear shorts in the office," he said, his grin widening at the memory. "So I asked about kilts and she said if we were men enough to wear kilts than we could. So we wore kilts, with Lewis wearing his backward. We took a picture with the Knight in front of the PE Center and it's on the website now."
McPhaul believes that he's learned a lot from his St. Andrews experience to date, especially through observing the nature on campus.
"The geese here are nicer than other geese," he said. "There is the one white goose who always adopts a family of Canadian geese for a season. It's a very caring campus."
He pauses and reflects on that statement. "It's like that with the people too. St. Andrews has the 'I told you so syndrome.' People who leave always find a way to come back. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni who leave always come back. It's a special place."
About St. Andrews Presbyterian College
An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.
On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to email@example.com.