Creator: Ron Flinn
Subjects: Anniversaries, Sesquicentennial
Description: Ron Flinn began his studies toward a degree at MSU in civil engineering in 1957 while working part-time at the North Campus Power Plant. Upon receiving his diploma in 1960, he was asked to stay with the power plant as a full-time employee, working in the HVAC area (heating, ventilating & air conditioning). He was also heavily involved in utility design with a focus on steam tunnels and created a walk-through tunnel from the Shaw Lane Power Plant to the new Engineering Building.
In 1966, Flinn was put in charge of the Engineering Office and in 1969 he took over administration of the construction program. Then in 1984 he was promoted to Assistant Vice President of the Physical Plant.
Flinn was one of the major driving forces in the building of south campus in the 60s – the Cyclotron, the Chem and Bio-chem buildings, the Vet Clinic, the extension of Shaw Lane, the creation of Wilson Road, numerous new dorms (more than a half-dozen), and the new Simon Power Plant on the site of the old campus dump.
Flinn was also instrumental in producing energy on the MSU campus through cogeneration where the steam produced to heat campus buildings passes through a steam turbine which generates electricity. He also served as co-chair of the 2020 Vision Master Planning Phase Component Two, a committee involved with less enormous MSU campus construction than in past years but with continued growth.
Topics/People Covered in the Interview include: 2020 Vision Master Planning Phase Component Two; Bob Able; Akers, Anthony, Bessey, Brody, Case, Fee, Holden, McDonel, Morrill, Shaw, Wonders Hall; Leo Alstine; Animal Health Diagnostic Lab; Sam Baker; Henry Blosser; Jack Breslin; Joe Cavanaugh; cogeneration; Courier Express; Marilyn Culpepper; Charley Cuts; cyclotron; Harold Danke; Bob Ellerhorst; Erie County Technical Institute; Kenny Green; Keith Groty; John Hannah; Theodore Hesburgh; Reeny Houser; Alex Huleneck; Ted Jacobs; George Karras; Lowell Levy; John Lewis; Harold Lotner; M Peter McPherson; Ag hall fire; campus construction in the 1960s; cooling tower fire; energy crisis in the 1970s; major flood in 1975; steam tunnel development; terrorism on campus; tuition in 1957; unionization; Mark Murray; Plant and Soil Science Building; Fred Poston; Melanie Reinhold; Salary and Benefits Commission; Bob Sefort; Simon Power Plant; Lou Anna Simon; Ted Simon; Sisaki Associates; U.S. News and World Report; Union Carbide; Vince Vandenburg; Wharton Center for Performing Arts; Dolores Wharton; Roger Wilkinson
Date: March 13, 2001
Collection Number: UA 3
Rights Management: Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by Michigan State University and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.
Contributing Institution: University Archives & Historical Collections, Office of the Provost
Relation: Sesquicentennial Oral History Project
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections