By Angela Hamman, contributing writer
“The Almighty gave you two strong hands on the ends of two long arms…. use them.” Alice McCann says this is the best advice she ever received from her father, and it has stuck with her throughout her life.
“My father is 88 years old and can out-work me any day of the week,” she says matter-of-factly about the man who instilled an incredible work ethic in her when she was just a young girl. It is working with her hands that makes Ms. McCann the happiest and gives her the most satisfaction in her daily life and work at Augusta State University.
The Texas native, wife, and mother of three has spent most of her life in Augusta. After graduating from high school, Ms. McCann received a scholarship to attend Augusta College where she completed her degree in art. Throughout the years, she has taken many additional courses, ranging from psychology to physical therapy, including taking online courses to keep her Emergency Medical Technician certification.
She recalls her interview with Max Brown, supervisor of grounds maintenance, ten years ago, who described all of the upcoming projects and transformations that the campus would be undergoing, and she was sold. The idea of innovative architecture, new buildings, and landscapes is the kind of art she is passionate about, and she accepted the job immediately. Her love of the outdoors and her appreciation of growth and change have kept her here all these years.
Ms. McCann’s personal mission is to make the campus as “glorious” as it can be, she says. The orchard where six new dogwood trees were recently planted is one of her favorite place on campus. When talking about watering and fertilizing the spring pansies, Ms. McCann grins from ear to ear and then admits she is jealous that “my hands weren’t responsible for planting the hundreds of tulip bulbs that are bursting through the ground every year about this time.”
Although Ms. McCann is often seen driving around campus in a fully-equipped blue work truck, her preferred method of transportation is bicycling. She rode her bike to and from work for many years until she suffered a terrifying accident, she says. Now she prefers the shelter and safety of the bus to get her to work and questions how she rode her bike all those years with only one major accident.
Ms. McCann speaks highly of her fellow employees and wishes that each of their stories could be told. “They have such interesting backgrounds…and are so hard working.” The feeling is mutual among her co-workers who describe her as “hard working,” “meticulous,” “well-liked” and, simply, “a good person.”
Name: Alice McCann
Position: Physical Plant, Landscaping and Grounds
Years at ASU: 10 years
What she enjoys most about her job: “On a hot summer day when you are working hard, even if you are hungry or tired, and a cool breeze comes along, you know you are blessed.”