Bob’s last day is today, June 30. It will be quite an adjustment getting used to his not being at Matthaei-Nichols. And he’s had an enormous impact on our organization—the landscapes, the gardens, the mission, the vision, and the people. Before he left Bob penned some heartfelt comments about his time here. We will miss you, Bob!
Dear Matthaei-Nichols community,
While I have been planning and looking forward to my retirement from the University of Michigan for quite some time, I didn’t imagine just how difficult it would be on an emotional and personal level when it actually happened. The reason is that it’s just been so rewarding for me to work with all of you these past years in caring for these gardens and properties that are such a treasure in our community. Your support, both financially and personally, has enabled us to make many positive changes. I also can’t thank our dedicated staff and volunteers enough for all of their hard work during my time as director.
My own rewards in this job have been many. As a landscape architect, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed teaching on the one hand and having the opportunity on the other to help shape our various gardens and landscapes, restoring ecological integrity to many of them, and providing places and programs that delight both members of the university community as well as the broader public. It’s been a real joy for me to take walks in the Arb or at the botanical gardens and watch people enjoying their time in nature, by themselves or with their families or friends. In many ways, my deepest reward as director is to feel that I played some small part in providing that kind of experience. Those rewards won’t end with my retirement, however, as I know I’ll continue to take those walks and appreciate watching others enjoying our spaces.
Over the past weeks, I have been humbled by the tremendous support I’ve felt through several online retirement events. I would have preferred to meet with all of you and share my thanks in person, but right now that’s not possible. So, I look forward to a time when I’ll see you in person. For now, I hope you keep safe and well, and thanks again for all your support these past years!