Campus Closeup: Tom Argetsinger

When Tom Argetsinger (Engineering and Planning) was young, he liked to build small dams and watch them cave in. Now, he works on and does estimates for renovation projects—this time with the hope that his structures will remain standing.

 

Argetsinger is what many refer to as a “transplant Yooper.” He is originally from Neenah, Wis., and moved to Marquette at age 13. “My father’s job at the Kimberly-Clark paper company brought us here, and I’ve stayed ever since.” He graduated from Marquette Senior High School, then received a bachelor’s degree in industrial education from NMU in 1977.

 

In his 25 years of working at NMU, his most memorable experience occurred in 1989, when he was inspecting the Cupola skylight of the newly-constructed Superior Dome for a warranty inspection   

“I climbed up there and found myself on top of Marquette.  It was a beautiful experience on a clear blue sky day,” he said.

 

Other projects that Argetsinger has been involved with include the recent Magers Hall renovation, on-campus apartment upgrades, minor office renovations, asbestos coordination with consultants, and different phases of renovation in the Cohodas building. “Individual office renovations are the smallest kind that we do,” he said. The largest would be renovating buildings since we haven’t had to construct an entirely new building in awhile.”

 

What Argetsinger enjoys the most about his job is that it doesn’t all take place in one building or office.  “I could be around any part of campus on any given day, sometimes two or three different locations a day looking at construction or estimating projects.  I also like that I run into a variety of different people during the week, employees as well as students. After 25 years, I know a lot of names, faces and hidden places. I’ve been from the top of the Dome to the bottom of a steam pipe hole,” he said.

 

Skiing and traveling go hand-in-hand as Argetsinger’s favorite hobbies. He estimates that he’s visited 43 states, Wyoming being his favorite because of the skiing opportunities. “California is a close second—I love the Lake Tahoe area.  My dog was born the same year that I went skiing there, so I named her Tahoe in honor of that.” 

 

He also enjoys deer hunting and anything that involves being outside in the woods.  “When there’s no snow for skiing and it’s not deer season, then I settle for hiking and some local traveling,” he said.

 

A boss at a previous employer taught Argetsinger a motto that he still uses today: “Any job big or small, do it right or not at all.  It stuck with me, and I’ve tried to stay true to that throughout my life.”

 

Argetsinger and his partner, Brandon Sager (Engineering and Planning), have several more projects lined up. They plan to renovate one residence hall every summer until they’re all identical to Magers. There will also be future renovations to Cohodas.

 

As much as Argetsinger enjoys his job, he admits that he’s looking forward to retirement in eight to 10 years. “It will be nice to do what I love to do on my own time,” he said.

 

This regular feature of the CAMPUS newsletter highlights the professional responsibilities and personal interests of NMU faculty and staff.

 

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Updated: April 19, 2006

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