Point of Reference
Published in Inside - Volume XII, No.8
Maureen Horgan is a constant in a constantly changing institution
At first glance, Maureen Horgan, Associate Director of Administrative Services at TC’s Gottesman Libraries, might not remind anyone of Lou Gehrig, legendary New York Yankees first baseman, but the parallels are definitely there. Like Gehrig filling in as a rookie for a veteran with a headache, Horgan—TC’s longest-tenured professional staff employee—began life at TC as a temp, subbing for someone on leave in the library office. The person never returned, and the rest is history—40 years of it, to be precise.
“I’m sort of astounded,” she says when asked how it feels to have worked here for so long. “And I’m amazed how far away I still am from retirement!”
Horgan was recently honored at TC’s annual long term service recognition ceremony, an experience she has come to know well. In 2002, when she reached the 35-year mark, Arthur Levine, TC’s President at the time, told her, “Oh, we must have adopted you as a foundling.”
Horgan says the many changes she has experienced at TC are part of what has kept her here. Her tenure has spanned four TC presidential inaugurations—including the most recent one, for President Susan Fuhrman, at which she delivered opening remarks—and an ongoing evolution in her own responsibilities at the library. In the mid-70s, Horgan switched to the professional staff. In 1977, with a new library director, her job changed to Planning Coordinator. Now she heads the library’s business office, with responsibility for budget, personnel and the physical facility itself at a time when the library has added offices, classrooms, meeting rooms, an art gallery and a café.
“It makes the work interesting. This is my second or third renovation!” she laughs. “Each one’s better, and this one’s been the best.”
Horgan tries to walk through the building a couple of times each day to see what’s going on and make sure everyone’s happy. She especially loves working with the library’s part-time student employees. “It’s just wonderful to be around them, to listen to the things they are interested in,” she says, and adds with another laugh, “It makes me feel ancient, but it’s really marvelous.”
Amid all the changes, Horgan herself remains one of TC’s most valued constants. “Because I’ve been here so long, even though my responsibilities have changed, people know me,” she says from her first-floor office. “So no matter what they need in the library, a lot of times they’ll just come to me. Even if I can’t help them, I know who the right person is.”
More important, her own kindness and enthusiasm continue to resonate with anyone fortunate enough to have worked with her. “The thing I’m most proud of is, people leave but they stay in touch with me, and I really treasure that,” she says. “And it’s not just library people, it’s other people. It’s that human contact, thing. That’s sort of my thing.”