Name: Mike Terry

Title: Assistant Director, Department of Physical Plant

Length of employment at UCR: 38 years

My work: I direct the facilities maintenance and recharge services provided by Physical Plant. This includes all maintenance except for custodial, grounds and climate control. The skilled crafts - electricians, plumbers, carpenters, painters, sheet metal, locksmiths, etc., - report to me. My group also manages outside contracting and hazardous materials abatement. We also offer tenant improvement projects at a reasonable cost and timeframe.

Things you should know: I have been involved in a number of other campus activities, including past board member of The University Club, past board member of The UCR Alumni Association, Student Recreation Center Leisure Line instructor, VCA task force and work groups. In 2000, I formed the UCR Pipe Band and have served as the pipe major of the band since its inception.

I learned to play the bagpipe in the same class I now teach through the Rec Center. The instructor was Heidi Hutchinson, a librarian at UCR who was also a faculty member in the College of Piping based in Glasgow, Scotland. This was an instrument that I always wanted to learn after seeing pipers as a child in my hometown of Portland, Ore. The sound of the pipes awakened something in me that I have come to consider a “genetic memory.” I had to learn to play! When Heidi offered the beginning bagpipe class in 1987, I enrolled.

I continue this tradition by offering instruction through the Rec Center in beginning bagpipes for UCR students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community. One of the pipers who learned to play through these classes is now a world-class musician playing with a grade 1 band in British Columbia.

The first pipe band I joined was the R. P. Blandford & Son Pipe Band, where after much hard work I became the pipe major of its grade 4 band. In 2000 I realized that my alma mater, UC Riverside, needed a pipe band of its own. I approached the UCR Alumni Association and the UCR Athletics Association and received funding to help start the band. We began with five pipers and no drummers, playing in hand-me-down kilts. We now have more than 50 pipers and drummers and are proudly multi-ethnic, multi-gender and multi-aged.

The band plays at a number of events: parties, parades, graduations, including all UCR Commencement ceremonies, weddings, funerals, corporate events, birthday celebrations ... the list is endless.

The band also is active in competitions throughout the western United States, including Hawaii, and was the champion grade 4 band for three years in a row. The band was moved up to grade 3 this year, and took second place at the Queen Mary Highland Games in Long Beach in February. We hope to eventually have a grade 2 and grade 1 band, but that will take a lot more pipers and drummers, along with funding to support approximately 100 musicians.

Of course, if you are going to play the pipes, you have to wear a kilt. The UCR Pipe Band wears kilts made in the University of California, Riverside tartan. This tartan was designed by and remains the intellectual property of the UCR Pipe Band. There are a number of mysteries surrounding the kilt; the best way to get all of your questions answered is to join the band and find out for yourself!