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St. Ledger celebrates 50 years at MC

January 28, 2011

Dean St. Ledger recently celebrated his 50th year of employment at Monmouth, where he has worked through numerous positions. St. Ledger’s long career all started by simply answering an ad in the newspaper in 1957.

According to St. Ledger, the ad said the college needed a heavy equipment operator. Instead, he was placed in the school’s heating plant, much to his distaste.

“I’m an outdoor person,” said St. Ledger.  “I was born and raised on a farm and I was never cooped up in a dirty, old heating plant.”

St. Ledger said he grew to love being outdoors from growing up on a farm, working with his uncle as a carpenter and building large sheds for a number of years after his time in the military.

According to St. Ledger, he told the school to either place him elsewhere or he would leave. After a few days, he was placed on the ground mower. Months later, St. Ledger moved up to school electrician, where he worked for 17 years.

“I enjoyed being an electrician because it was a challenge,” said St. Ledger. “I was trained in electronics in the army, which obviously helped.”

In addition, St. Ledger said he enjoyed working at the college because there was no one constantly looking over his shoulder.

“As long as your job was done nice and it looked good, the school was happy,” St. Ledger said. “You were never pressured as long as you got the work done in time. I always appreciated that.”

After 17 years, St. Ledger became the supervisor/superintendent of building and grounds, where he managed large projects, such as remodeling Wallace Hall. St. Ledger continued at this position until he retired in 1996, which was nearly 40 years after he was first employed at the college.

Even in retirement, St. Ledger stayed busy by doing carpenter and electric work for people around town. Through this manner, St. Ledger was working for Dr. Bill Wallace, who told St. Ledger about a new position opening at the college.

Doug Rankin, theater professor, opened a position as the scene shop and lighting supervisor in the Wells Theater. According to St. Ledger, the school needed someone to supervise students building set pieces for the theater productions.

“Dr. Rankin had originally done all of this himself,” said St. Ledger. “That’s just too much for one person to try and do all that for long. Of course I was interested because it was right in my line. The hours were winter afternoons, which were great because it gave me something to do.”

St. Ledger said he enjoys working for Dr. Rankin and Dr. Wallace and is currently on his 11th year of supervising the students.

“I like working with students,” St. Ledger said. “We used to hire a lot of students when I was superintendent of building and grounds and I always enjoyed working with them.”

St. Ledger supervises the students every Monday through Friday from 1-4 p.m. and he said he hopes to continue this job as long as he is healthy and able to do it. In addition, St. Ledger’s wife, Nancy St. Ledger, works as the academic secretary in the Haldeman-Thiessen Science Center, where she has worked since 1973.

BY DEREK KEIST
Features Editor

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