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Housing director retires after 25 years

Maureen Blair, director of University Housing Services, is retiring at the end of the semester. A retirement reception will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, in the Circus Room at the Bone Student Center.

Blair has worked at ISU for 25 years and has held the position of director of housing services since 1999.

“There are so many things that I have enjoyed about being a part of this campus,” Blair said.

“From the moment that I came to Illinois State in 1988, I have had the good fortune to interact with people — colleagues and students — that stretch me and inspire me.”

Blair’s leadership paved the way for housing services to successfully implement several changes, including the opening of Cardinal Court in 2012 and the recent closing of the south campus dorms. She has been a beacon for innovative ideas and has led the way to a more modern and affordable housing system at ISU.

“The most visible accomplishment for housing recently has been the development and implementation of the Long Range Plan; this was a collaborative project with many others on campus and is something that involved every aspect of housing to make a reality from the first renovation project in Wilkins Hall to the opening of Cardinal Court,” Blair said.

Blair’s influence on ISU reaches past the accomplishments of University Housing, though.

As an educator and administrator, she has impacted the lives of her peers and the students who she serves, and has been recognized for her compassion, talents and drive.

She was the recipient of the 1997 STAR Award for exceptional performance by an individual, the 1998–1999 Neal R. Gamsky Quality of Student Life Award and the 2014 Impact Award.

“It is humbling to be recognized with awards for doing what I enjoy; each day when I come to work I hope to make something better that day either in the outcome of what we are working on or the experience to whom we are providing it.  And that someone would go to the effort to nominate me and/or the projects that I have been a part of for this recognition is an honor,” Blair said.

Blair does not intend to leave the Bloomington-Normal area any time soon and hopes to stay involved in the ISU community.

Post-retirement plans include relaxation and vacations, as well as more time spent with family.

“In the immediate future, I am going to just ‘be,’ spending time with my family, finishing some of the projects that have been put on hold for a while.  I also have a few short trips planned and look forward to those as well,” Blair said.

A search committee is in the process of finding a new director of housing services, but as of now no final decision has been made.

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