For many Gators, it’s impossible to walk around campus and not think of Chris McCall. The retiring associate vice president for Facilities Management has had a hand in countless projects that have enhanced the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD).
The pedestrian tunnel leading from the Shea Street Garage to the North Main Street sidewalk was his idea. He also was at the helm of a range of projects such, as the stairwell connecting the Academic Building to One Main Building, and the expansion of the W.I. Dykes Library (including the addition of the 40,000 Windows Café). Of course, he also was a key figure in UHD’s major construction projects over the past three decades— Commerce Street Building, Girard Street Building/Welcome Center, Shea Street Building. And, he was on campus immediately after Harvey, helping the campus recover in time to resume classes.
His contributions to UHD are too many to count, but faculty, staff and students are indeed grateful for his efforts.
After 30 years with UHD, McCall has decided to call it a career. On Dec. 12, the longtime UHD staff member celebrated his upcoming retirement with the Gator Community in the Welcome Center’s Tour Room. In attendance were McCall’s colleagues, friends and family members, including wife Cathy.
Colleague and friend David Bradley, vice president of Administration and Finance, hosted the event and offered perspective on McCall’s commitment to UHD.
“There is so much Chris has done here at UHD,” Bradley said. “So many things that we acted on were his ideas. He’s been a great associate vice president and friend to me. He has a tremendous knowledge of the campus. I will really miss his ‘can do’ spirit.”
During his presentation, Bradley shared an excerpt from McCall’s favorite movie with the standout quote … “I can attack three divisions in 48 hours.” The statement, delivered by Patton (played by George C. Scott), reflects the commitment to accomplish the impossible.
Bradley also presented McCall with a crystal plaque that read “Chris McCall – Innovator, Leader, Colleague.”
During his address to friends and well-wishers, McCall cited several other quotes that inspired him, including one from Jimmy Buffett: “If you decide to run with the ball, just count on fumbling and getting the [expletive] knocked out of you a lot, but never forget how much fun it is just to be able to run the ball.”
He then concluded with parting words to the community he has served for three decades.
“My dad told me and my brothers to find something we liked and hopefully do it for a long time,” McCall said at the conclusion of the event. “I found that here. I like what I do, and I appreciate the opportunity to carry the ball for UHD.”