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Man in Charge of Buildings at the U, Has One Named After Him

June 10, 2002 — Randy Turpin’s contribution to the University of Utah is easy to identify. As Associate Vice President for Administrative Services in charge of design, planning and plant operations, he has literally sculpted the landscape of the campus. To honor Turpin today upon his retirement, the Board of Trustees announced the renaming of the University Services Building to the V. Randall Turpin University Services Building.

Naming a building after a person is usually reserved for University presidents or major donors. Turpin was understandably surprised by today’s announcement. “This is an unbelievable honor. It isn’t something you even dream about, especially at this institution I love so much.”

In recognizing Turpin today, the Board of Trustees also bestowed upon him another honor, granting him the privilege of emeritus status. Chairman James Macfarlane said of Turpin, “I am confident that he is the best facilities manager in higher education in the country. He is exceptionally capable and has the ability to work with people at all levels. He has a high degree of integrity. We at the U will miss him but know he will stay close to his beloved U.”

Turpin has been in charge of several major building and renovation campaigns while at the U. Most recently he oversaw the renovation of Rice-Eccles Stadium and the construction of the Heritage Commons student housing project at Fort Douglas. Both were used during the staging of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The expanded stadium was the site of the opening and closing ceremonies, while Heritage Commons was used as the site for the athletes’ Olympic Village.

Turpin’s career can serve as an inspiration to everyone working in higher education. He began his 41-years of service at the U as a part-time janitor when he was a junior at Granite High School. He held many other posts through the years with more responsibilities, but his coworkers and superiors remember him as someone who took time to listen to everyone who approached him with a problem or idea. Arnold Combe, Vice President for Administrative Services says the honors Turpin is receiving are well earned. “It is a fitting tribute to an individual who has dedicated the greater portion of his life to this institution. He enjoys working with all people campuswide. Randy has a love for students which has been a paramount focus throughout his career.”

Turpin intends to now spend some leisurely time at his new home in Heber, where his love for restoring antique cars will keep him busy. However, it’s no secret to those at the U that he is a loyal follower of the school’s athletic teams. He still intends to cheer for the U’s gymnastic, volleyball, basketball and football teams with wife Susan Turpin, who also recently retired from the University of Utah after 33 years of distinguished service.