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Director of tech support’s story

Mills College Weekly

Last week, in a mass e-mail issued to the students, staff and faculty announced nominees for staff and faculty awards. Receiving an award for his 30 years with Mills College is the current director of technical support, Jim Graham.

As a young boy, Graham was introduced to Mills through his mother, Eleanor Lauer, the head of the dance department.

During these early years he pulled the curtain in Lisser Hall for dance concerts. He did not begin his paid career until the fall of 1972.

Earning little money as a part-time stage technician, Graham soon took on the job as director of the children’s school summer arts program to make enough money.

“My plan was to spend a year or two at Mills to decide what I’d do with the rest of my life, and by-golly, here is the rest of my life,” said Graham.

In 1982, the office of technical support was created as a conglomerate of the audio and visual department and the technical support for the dance and music departments. Graham was immediately selected as the director.

“That was the beginning of a modern era,” said Graham. “At that time, technological advancement at Mills meant colored chalk. Now it is a modern, up-to-date establishment.”

Graham is happy with his accomplishments at Mills. In the beginning, according to Graham, the audio-visual department consisted of about one recorder and one video camera.

“Now there is a fully functioning office with reasonable reliance,” added Graham. “I think we do a good job supporting faculty and students and I’m glad to be here.”