With just more than one week at UT, Demond Pryor already considers himself a Rocket.“The beauty of the campus and the kindness of everyone I’ve met have just bowled me over,” said the new director of the Student Recreation Center. “I’m getting a full immersion in Rocket culture, and every day I’m finding more that truly excites me.”
Pryor joined the Division of Student Affairs Nov. 3 and brings a professional history that includes his most recent position as director of facility operations at Central Michigan University. He also coordinated facility operations for campus recreation at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Mich.
He comes to the Student Rec Center a time when the facility — which will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year — is undergoing upgrades and renovations based on the evolving needs of its users. In addition to improvements in carpeting, lockers and windows, new weight equipment machines have been added. After input from rec center patrons, renovations to an existing space were made to create a gender-neutral family locker room and restroom.
“The recreation facility at Central Michigan is just about the same age as UT’s,” Pryor noted. “So I fully understand the need to keep ahead of the curve as far as both cosmetic improvements and deep updating.”
He added, “We know that the rec center is important to student recruitment and retention, and keeping student-centered will be key to all our future decisions. We want to make sure that our recreation programs as well as our facility meet the needs of students — and of the rest of the University community.”
Dean of Students Tamika Mitchell, who oversees the rec center, said, “I’m excited to have Demond join us and bring his wealth of experience in managing multiple facilities on college campuses. As we continue to improve the UT rec center for today’s savvy students, Demond’s background will provide direction and implementation.”