It was announced October 4th of this year that Chaplain Paul Henrickson was retiring from his service at Roanoke College on June 30, 2013. Recently I got to sit down and chat with Paul about various things, including how he got his job, the thirty years he spent at the college and his life after Roanoke. Although the weather was cold and damp at the interview, Paul’s smile was warm as usual.
Paul started work here thirty years ago. When asked if this is what he envisioned, he didn’t hesitate when he said no way. He said the opportunity to work at Roanoke College was that of a lifetime. He said that for whatever reason he happened to be at the right place at the right time to have a job like this presented to him. Although he has enjoyed working every single day for the college, he recalled times where there were a few minor speed bumps.
When asked what made him decide to retire at the end of this academic year, he said it just felt right. He commented on how his job requires certain energy and the commitment to performing at a high level of excellence. Â That desire, he said, is there but the energy required to do his job is slowly fading.
Naturally the topic of life after retirement came up. While he said he hasn’t thought about it too much, he knows of a few things that he wants to do in his days after Roanoke College. One of those things he said he would enjoy doing more once he is retired is playing golf. He did suggest that he and his wife would do something for the summer of 2013, such as a trip.
Finally, I asked him if he had a reflective message for students at Roanoke College. In his typical cheerful manner he said that students should attend the College’s Last Lecture series featuring himself. The date for this lecture has not been announced.
Currently the college is still finalizing plans to find a successor for Paul. Details, according to an email sent out to the student body, will be announced sometime soon. Â As echoed by many students and faculty, Reverend Paul will certainly be missed. No amount of thanks can be given to a man such as Chaplain Henrickson.