May 04, 2004

Svec retires after almost 39 years at SIUC

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Terrance J. Svec, a rural Ava resident whose nearly 39-year career at Southern Illinois University Carbondale dates to his days as a student worker, retired on Friday, April 30.

Svec earned his bachelor's degree in 1970, then pursued a master's degree through the Department of Occupational Education from 1970 to 1972. During those two years, he was a graduate assistant for University Exhibits. In 1972, he became a staff assistant for that unit, which was the forerunner of University Photocommunications.The Chicago native came to SIUC in 1965 after graduating from Wauconda High School. During his first year on campus, he served as a typography assistant in the design department. Other student jobs included serving as an instructional assistant in the design department, resident fellow for an off-campus residence hall, instructional assistant in the design department and exhibit technologist for University Exhibits.

In 1975, he began a four-year stint as assistant coordinator for University Exhibits, helping coordinate multi-image and slide film distribution, exhibit fabrication and support service for special events and activities. He served as University Exhibits coordinator from 1979 to 1981, then became assistant director of University Photocommunications in 1981 -- a position he would hold for the next eight years.

Svec became director of the photocommunications unit in 1989, serving in that role until 2003, when he became associate director-special projects for Media & Communication Resources.

Svec, a resident of rural Ava since 1971, is the son of Frances Svec of Murphysboro and the late Paul Svec. He and his wife of 35-plus years, Christine, have two children, Brian, 31, and Sharon, 26. Christine Svec is an associate director of SIUC's International Programs and Services.

"I always have had a passion for my parents and my relatives, and I had always heard from my parents about how they'd love to see me get a degree," Svec said. "My dad came to this country as a 2 year old in about 1911 from Czechoslovakia, so for me to be a first-generation American and the first one in my family to get a degree has been a source of great pride. Both of our kids chose to go to school here, also."

Retirement means spending more time with his long-time passions and pastimes. "I have always loved problem-solving for projects I've been involved with -- big cars, small cars, hot-rodding, home building," Svec said. "I don't believe people should have one long-term goal other than to live happily."