After 14 years of dedicated service, Campus Safety Sergeant Mike English is retiring from his position at Gustavus. To celebrate his diligent work and highlight his accomplishments, there will be a farewell reception today, March 28, in the Three Crowns Room.
English is originally from Portland, Oregon and has lived in various places around the United States due to his previous career in the United States Marine Corp. However, his retired Navy wife, Colleen English, brought him to the Minnesota area.
“I retired out of the Marine Corp back in ‘93 . . . later I met Colleen from Minnesota, she was retiring from the Navy and we ended up getting married and came back here,” English said.
Previous to Gustavus, English led a successful, 26-year career in the United States Marine Corp. He was successful in various jobs such as service in Vietnam, embassy work in India, security work for the White House and recruiting.
Professor Aaron Banks, who has had English guest lecture in his self defense and First Term Seminar classes, holds great respect for English due to his service and role at Gustavus and in the Marines.
“I have always had a deep respect for Mike. He is a Vietnam veteran and retired Marine. He is passionate about his military service and career. [His service] defined him as a person and he has been a wonderful advocate and model for GAC students over the years,” Banks said.
Surprisingly, the Marine Corp. was not as different as one might think from the environment and work at Gustavus.
“Actually, in the military environment when you’re around a base, you have your own community and friends. . . . It’s a lot like a college campus here at Gustavus . . . all your friends are living right here on campus, and its much like that little small community which is really neat,” English said.
After retirement, English and Colleen plan on moving away from the cold weather to Texas. However, they will greatly miss the Midwest and community around them.
English expresses the difficulty in missing relationships and the sense of the responsibility of helping here at Gustavus.
“[What he will miss the most is] probably the relations with the people, my fellow officers, the students that I have working for me, the students that we have involved, also that sense of responsibility and helping people,” English said.
One of these missed relationships will be with Pat Tracy, Gustavus senior and former Campus Safety student supervisor. Tracy is going to miss the joy English brings around campus and his supporting attendance at Gustavus events.
“Mike is great to have conversations with, and he is always watching out for everyone. He always is talking with people and genuinely cares to help others while also being supportive of the activities on the campus,” Tracy said.
In regards to the farewell reception, English is excited to spend time with his community here at Gustavus, but not looking forward to being the center of attention and saying those tough goodbyes.
One of those tough goodbyes will be to Professor Banks. Banks is going to miss English’s joy and mischievousness here on campus, as he would sneak up on people on his Segway.
“I always enjoyed watching Mike zip around campus on his Segway. He displayed quite the sense of balance and was really clever at sneaking up on people,” Banks said.
He will be deeply missed by staff, faculty, and students alike for his remarkable service and his selfless, kind disposition.
Please join in celebrating English’s work and accomplishments on March 28 from 4:30-7 p.m. in the Three Crowns Room. Gustavus is indebted to English for his 14 years of service protecting the students and place we call home.