Vol. 12. No. 2
Fall 2002


The Turpin era has ended. After 74 years of combined — and superb — service to the University, Randy and Susan Turpin recently retired.

Randy BS'61 started at the U as a part-time janitor when he was a student at Granite High. His fabled lifetime career began in parking services and concluded as associate vice president for administrative services in charge of campus design, planning, and plant operations.

Randy's deft leadership touch is visible across the entire campus. Dozens of new buildings and renovations, including construction of Rice-Eccles Stadium, came about under his watchful care.

While Randy Turpin and his excellent team were changing the face of the campus, Susan Turpin was in the Park Building serving most effectively as administrative assistant to the vice president for university relations (me). Susan started at the U in the shops and utilities area, moved on to student affairs and the liberal education program, and found her way to university relations. Before retiring, she spent her last couple of years with Academic Outreach and Continuing Education.

Susan's knowledge of the campus and its personnel and budgets, and her understanding of the importance of the University's mission resulted in her receiving the Lillian Ence Award in 1998, the top campus honor bestowed on administrative assistants.

Susan and Randy met on campus and, throughout their careers, drove to and from the U together, sharing some (but not all) information. "Sometimes we knew things that we just had to keep secret for awhile," says Randy.

But their mutual love for the University is no secret to anyone who knows them. From gymnastics meets and football and basketball games to Pioneer Theatre Company plays and many other campus events, Randy and Susan are loyal Utes. It is only fitting that the Board of Trustees has renamed the University Services Building the V. Randall Turpin University Services Building, and has bestowed upon him the honor of emeritus status.

Retired to their new home in Heber City, Randy says he will keep busy in his shop, working on his "street rod." And Susan says she is learning to be "laid back" — that is, she doesn't have to do all her housework on Saturdays. Now she has time to travel with Randy and plans to volunteer at Wasatch High.

Randy says he will always remember the lesson learned from LaVell Edwards, his football coach at Granite High, where Randy was the starting quarterback: "Leadership means being part of a team. You have to count on and trust each other and involve your teammates in decisions." Randy and Susan both learned that lesson well, and the University benefited enormously from their many years here.

Ted Capener BS'53 is host of KUED's "Civic Dialogue" and former vice president of university relations.

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