After 39 years, one of ACU’s well known storytellers, Ron Hadfield, is taking a step back into a more relaxed and remote role.
Hadfield has served as director of operations while working for the university, serving under three presidents and wearing many different hats along the way including working as the editor of ACU Today Magazine, overseeing media relations, special events, signage and marketing.
“So I’ve worn a lot of hats, and I’ve enjoyed them the most, it’s just fun,” Hadfield said. “But you can always wear so many hats for so long and I’m grateful to have some other folks that I can share some of those responsibilities with now moving forward while still retaining some things that I enjoy doing most and feel like I do well.”
Hadfield will continue to work as the editor for ACU Today in his new role as well as continuing to manage signage and environmental graphics in conjunction with the on-campus team. He plans to still be present on campus once a month and is grateful that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the were able to harness what remote work looked like.
“The whole university has learned a lot about working remotely during the pandemic and we’ve learned that there are certain things about our work that we can do from just about anywhere.”
For Hadfield, his job isn’t just operations, it’s being an archivist.
“There’s a lot of our archivist responsibility and what I’ve done through the years, and I’ve been here for a long time, is knowing where we’re going, where things are kept and historical work,” Hadfield. “ I’m grateful that ACU wants me to continue in that role and see the value of value in that.”
To some like Linda Bonnin, senior vice president for marketing and strategic communication. Hadfield is an institution of his own at ACU. Bonnin said that Hadfield fingerprints are all over campus, leaving a legacy in everything from the signs, branding and the relationships he’s made.
“He bleeds purple and has a tremendous work ethic,” Bonnin said. “He will email you at 2 a.m., at 6 a.m. and on the weekends. He is constantly working for ACU. I don’t know how many hours Ron works, honestly. I’m sure it’s an excess of 120 hours a week.”
Outside of working for the university, Hadfield’s connection to ACU goes farther back to his time as a college student. Graduating in 1979 from the Journalism and Mass Communication Department, serving as the editor in chief of the Optimist during his time. Hadfield also played collegiate baseball at the university alongside Vice President Emeritus Dr. Gary McCaleb.
To McCaleb, Hadfield is not just a hard worker but also a friend who shares a love of baseball.
“We talk a lot, all the time, about baseball,” McCaleb said. “It’s always fun to find somebody who shares a pastime or an interest with a sort of same passion that you do. And that’s been a part of our friendship years.”
Hadfield over his 39 years at ACU has worn a lot of hats, fostered close relationships and worked many hours, but Hadfield said that the most important part of it all is connecting others with the opportunity ACU provides.
“Helping connect people with [ACU], giving them the similar opportunity we have, that’s hugely important to me and to a lot of other people who work with me now and will follow later,” Hadfield.