November 23, 2016
Facilities Management
Bill Paulus


Happy Thanksgiving

Dear FM,

We are all looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday week, another great American tradition. Abraham lincoln proclaimed this to be a national holiday in 1863, but the custom is rooted in a celebration of the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians’ autumn harvest feast dating back to 1621. Since many of our FM team come from countries around the world, I was curious if other countries celebrated events similar to our Thanksgiving holiday. Turns out that many countries have various harvest celebrations of thanks that date back 1000 years or more, so we are relative newcomers in this area. This website has some interesting traditions from around the world if you are curious.

I also wanted to share the results of the 2016 Community Fund Drive with you. We had many creative, entertaining and engaging events during our fund drive, and I appreciate all the effort that went into planning and coordinating those events. As a few examples: you bailed each other out of ‘jail’ on the West Bank, made over 700 sandwiches for the Minneapolis Recreational Development that were donated to the homeless, held a hot wheels car race, had a chat with the Chief and K9 officer Rio, served many pancake breakfasts and dinners, gathered for BBQ lunches, a chili cook-off and potluck dinners -  all in an effort to raise money for local charitable organizations. This year FM employees raised $20,415 with almost 20% of FM employees participating. Last year we raised $24,107 with a 26% participation rate. Though we dropped a bit from last year, our efforts are still a significant and valuable contribution. Thanks again to all who contributed and participated. Here is a collage of photos from some of the events:

collage of photos taken during the 2016 community fund drive for FM

One Liners
  • Boynton Health Services is offering a special flu clinic just for FM 2nd/3rd shift employees Monday, Dec. 5, 8 - 10 p.m., Room 202 of the St. Paul Student Center.
  • Open Enrollment ends Nov. 30. Benefits advice and help with making changes will be offered Nov. 28, 29, 30 in Donhowe 315, 8 a.m. - 4:30.
  • Nice job to Energy Management and District Operations for a great job in planning and executing a brief steam outage yesterday afternoon.

Each of you makes FM a department that the University has come to rely on every day. On behalf of the entire University community, I say Thank You for your dedication and hard work.

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” ― Eckhart Tolle,

Happy Thanksgiving!


Bill Paulus the interim AVP for FM
Bill Paulus is the interim Associate Vice President for Facilities Management. He regularly publishes memos to communicate information and issues that affect FM staff.