Today, Bill Giduz '74 retires.
That's one of those bound-to-happen bombshells so full of joy and sadness that all you can do is have cake and share hugs.
So, that's what the Davidson College family did to celebrate Davidson's self-described "campus news guy and photographer." Friends and colleagues past and present gathered Wednesday in the C. Shaw Smith 900 Room to offer some laughter, some tears and all best wishes to Giduz, whose career with the college spanned 37 years.
Giduz's institutional memory and deep connectedness to the college and the town happened one photograph, one story interview at a time over the decades of his Davidson career–and before that as a member of the Class of 1974.
At Davidson, Giduz was a history major and studied abroad in France, then earned his master's degree from Columbia University School of Journalism.
Since coming to work at the college in 1980, Giduz has lived and chronicled Davidson's history in the making, a civic-minded avatar of the good life in a small college town. He has been a familiar sight playing noon ball on Mondays and Fridays, juggling on the Village Green on Saturdays and always on his trusty bike as he pedaled his way into the middle of campus happenings morning, noon and night with his camera and notepad.
He knows generations of Davidsonians from all branches of the college family tree, from freshmen to physical plant employees, professors to trustees. He took their pictures, and he can tell you something about each of their lives.
As longtime director of media relations at a time of rapid growth at the college, Giduz developed a solid reputation as a quick-witted professional, helpful, honest and straightforward.
He was indispensable and, seemingly ubiquitous.
When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor came to Davidson in 2015, Giduz followed her everywhere and, not surprisingly, they quickly struck up a rapport.
When she finished speaking to a packed house at Belk Arena, she headed into the crowd to mix with students, faculty, staff and community–while still wearing her wireless microphone. The next thing heard over the loudspeakers was: "Where's Bill? I need Bill with me!"
Giduz will remain a Davidson denizen in retirement.
As one campus wag put it in a bit of doggerel delivered at the retirement party, "One thing that I'm glad of, for this man who is dear/Is that even retired, he'll live with us here!" Giduz and his wife, Ellen, will continue to live in Davidson, the community where they raised their children, Jenny and Luke.
With his typically droll humor, Giduz suggested in his remarks that "Enjoy!" is the best exhortation for retirement, rather than "Congratulations" (for stopping doing something?) or "Good luck" (a little morbid).
Bill Giduz, retired? Well-deserved.
For more pictures and archival bits about Bill Giduz '74, check out the Archives and Special Collections "Around the D" blog entry, "Happy Retirement, Bill Giduz!"