Halfway through his late morning meeting with ResLife area coordinators, Dr. John Delony realized that it was his favorite day of the year: April Fool’s Day. That’s when he realized why all of his staff was late for the meeting.
“They do this every year,” said Delony, associate dean of students, as he pointed to the blue streamers crisscrossing his office in McKenzie Hall. “But this year is special because I’m leaving.”
Delony told Dr. Jan Meyer, interim dean of students, on March 26 that he will be leaving ACU after nearly six years of leading Residence Life. Effective June 1, he’ll be headed to Lubbock to serve as assistant dean of students at the Texas Tech University School of Law.
“I’ll be working more directly with students and with the law school itself instead of the broad departmental goals here,” Delony said. “It’s very similar, but the major difference is I won’t be dealing with housing like I do here.”
Delony said the Tech law school has about 700-800 students, so he’ll be working much more closely with students than his current position.
“You can really get to know students and plug into their groups and dreams, which will be pretty neat,” he said.
Delony and his wife, Sheila, attended Lubbock Christian University and have many connections and friends in the Lubbock area, which was one of their draws to the position at Texas Tech.
Shannon Kaczmarek, area coordinator for McDonald and Nelson Halls, said those who work directly with Delony enjoy his playful personality, and show it right back. Monday afternoon, Easter eggs and folded pieces of paper covered his table, desk and files while he searched for where they hid his laptop.
“He is a really beloved boss here,” Kaczmarek said. “He’s created an environment where you feel supported but not managed. One of his strengths is that he’s always willing to entertain new ideas.”
But while Delony applied for the position away from ACU, he will miss his ACU position and the relationships he’s made with the Student Life staff.
“I’ll miss our intercom system here,” Delony said, after he and Tracy Wetsel, residential services coordinator, yelled a short conversation through the wall between their offices. “They’ll be pretty hard to leave. It’s been such a tremendous blessing to have been here.”
Last month, Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson left his post as dean of students and vice president for Student Life for a similar position at Faulkner University. Meyer, who has since filled the role as interim, will try to replace Delony soon.