From the time Jeffrey Sherman joined Kalamazoo College’s Facilities Management team 35 years ago, one memory that stands out in Sherman’s mind is when he first met President James F. Jones, president of K from 1996 to 2004.
“I remember the first day of school one year, Jimmy came up and introduced himself to me. He said, ‘Hi, I’m Jimmy. It’s nice to meet you.’ and I said, ‘Hi, I’m Jeff, don’t ever call me Jeffey.’”
“The last day Jimmy was here,” Sherman said, “he shook my hand before he left and said ‘I never called you Jeffey.’” Sherman paused and added, “I couldn’t believe he remembered all that time.”
This is the kind of personal interaction Sherman says he loves most about the relationships he builds with the people at K College.
“I think the best part is just my coworkers. They’re just all really nice people, and a lot of them have been here a long time,” Sherman said.
He added that he especially enjoys working with K students, pointing to headshots of current and former student employees posted on the wall of the workroom where he usually eats lunch, sharing little anecdotes about them both as employees and as individuals.
“I think everybody tries to have a good place to work and get along. I don’t want to sound like I’m sugar coating it, but it’s true,” he said.
One of Sherman’s chief responsibilities with Facilities Management at K is laying replacement bricks in areas throughout campus– he can often be found cutting brick with his brick saw in his workroom behind Hoben Hall. Around 10 years ago, Sherman and the College received a historic preservation award for re-doing the brickwork on Academy Street.
“Jeff is the type of guy who would give you the shirt off his back. Nice guy– drinks too many Mountain Dews, but he’s alright,” said William Crockett, one of Sherman’s coworkers who eats lunch with him on workdays.
Sherman laughed and said, “But I’m cutting back!”