UT “Like Home” for David Brown
Brown, who currently drives the UT Recycling truck, recently celebrated forty-five years with the university.
The Knoxville native began his career at UT right after he graduated from East High School, now Austin-East High School, in 1968.
“I have worked all of my life,” Brown said. “That is just me, I don’t mind working and I like it here.”
Throughout his years in the Facilities Services department, Brown has performed custodial work at Neyland Stadium, waxed and stripped floors in buildings throughout campus, and now has found a home in UT Recycling.
Brown has been driving the UT Recycling truck for about ten years, ever since then-recycling coordinator Sarah Surak approached him with the opportunity.
“She made the route sheet for me and let me run it the way I wanted,” Brown said. “It is basically the same way now.
“I drive the big recycling truck every day.”
Brown’s recycling route and his appreciation for UT are two of the few things that have stayed the same during his forty-five years of service.
Andy Holt was the university president when Brown began at UT, and there have been nine successors since. Brown has seen the football head coach position change hands ten different times.
He has also watched the campus expand since the 1960s with the addition of several new buildings.
“One thing that sticks out is all the new buildings,” Brown said. “The Communications Building wasn’t here when I started; neither were the Andy Holt Tower or the G10 parking garage.
“Hodges Library has also gotten bigger, a lot bigger.”
Despite his more than four decades of service, Brown doesn’t have any plans to slow down—not completely, anyway.
“I have thought about retiring, but even if I did I would like to stay on part time,” he said. “I don’t think I could do without working.”
One thing he does look forward to is spending more time antiquing with his wife, Judy. The couple has two children and four grandchildren.
“Judy and I have been together for forty-four years,” he said. “The first vacation time I took was for our honeymoon.”
Brown admits he is not quite sure what he would do if he fully retired.
“If I left it would be like a piece of the puzzle was missing,” he said.