June 18, 2024

A Calling With Tools

Connor Wilson, George Black, Daniel Simonds, and Benjamin Watts (2016)

[Duttweiler in-front of his notable white truck, unique to Gordon College campus]

EDITOR’S NOTE: Given the sad passing of beloved Gordon staff member Roscoe Duttweiler, the Tartan is republishing this story from a half-dozen years ago:

Gordon College makes its mission clear: “(It) strives to graduate men and women distinguished by intellectual maturity and Christian character, committed to lives of service and prepared for leadership worldwide.”

That goal is easily visible in the lives of students — one only needs to look at the mandatory 30 chapel credits per semester policy or the Student Life and Conduct Statement to grasp the attitude Gordon seeks to cultivate on campus. Faculty are held to similarly high standards.

However, it is easy for one to forget how the non-academic members of Gordon’s community fit into this picture. Physical Plant, the employees responsible for the upkeep and well-being of Gordon’s campus, are often forgotten when one thinks about the so-called “Gordon Bubble.” Yet Physical Plant employees are a key part of Gordon’s unique culture.

[Rosco Duttweiler packing away his ladder]

This is clearly visible through veteran electrician Roscoe Duttweiler, the man responsible for many of Gordon’s electrical updates and maintenance projects. These projects are wide and varied, ranging from ensuring handicap doors open properly to testing fire alarms.

Duttweiler’s role on campus extends far beyond his work on electrical grids.

“Working at Gordon provides an opportunity to practice a skilled trade while also serving Christ and sharing the word of God,” said Duttweiler.

Duttweiler has become a fixture on campus since he was hired in 2012. Since then, he has wired himself into the community in a far deeper way than might be typical for a project electrician. Duttweiler has been a leader for campus mission trips, as well as getting involved in Gordon’s athletic programs and chapels.

Besides his formal commitments to the college, Duttweiler has also become a vital part of the campus community, acting as both a friend and mentor.

“He already is so involved in many students’ lives at Gordon that you wouldn’t even know he was an electrician for the school,” said Zach Brough, a student worker for Physical Plant. “Making it through difficult situations seems so much easier after a heart to heart with the guy, and all this proudly in the name of God.”

Duttweiler previously served as a youth pastor for years at his local church in Lowell, Massachusetts. He has also raised four children, two of whom are currently in college and two of whom have recently graduated.

[Rosco Duttweiler’s workspace]

He compared his experiences on campus to his former job, enjoying being able to be a part of a Christian community in a similar way as he once did as a youth pastor. “I reap the benefits without having to do the planning,” Duttweiler said.

His passion for serving and encouraging has not gone unnoticed by students. He makes a point of encouraging members of the Gordon community every Friday with high fives or texts.

“[He’s] really good at picking people up like that in small ways,” Brough said.

Duttweiler also opens his home to students, with his entire family joining his efforts on reaching out to the community.

“His family and him are just so selfless when it comes to serving others and having people over for breaks when midterms, finals and even some holidays come up,” said Brough.

With four children out of the nest, Duttweiler now finds himself seeking to engage the Gordon community even further in the future. He currently resides in Lowell, Massachusetts, but hopes to move closer to Gordon soon to continue building more relationships, and, of course, aiding the campus in his official capacity.

But Duttweiler would be the first to tell you his passion lies beyond his job description.

“It’s more than a job,” said Duttweiler. “It’s a calling with tools.”

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