Sandi Gouge preps for ‘rewiring’

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 21, 2010

Sandi Gouge is getting ready to put an end to her Troy University career, but she’s not exactly retiring.

While technically “retirement” is the term for it, Gouge just prefers to call it something else — “rewiring.”

“When my husband retired Sept. 11, he said he was ‘resting, recovering and rediscovering,’” she said. “I’m getting rewired.”

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Gouge will leave her Troy University career of 25-years as the associate vice chancellor of marketing. But, that’s far from her scope of experience with the institution.

Gouge began her career in the then Troy State University Montgomery as an academic adviser. She has since served as director of admissions, director of the learning resource center, registrar, dean of students and chief advancement officer.

Gouge said during her time in Montgomery, she had the opportunity to participate in the Chancellors Fellows program, where she was mentored by Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. Gouge was brought into her role at the Troy campus when the university underwent its “One Great University” merger about six years ago.

“Dr. Hawkins…created an office of marketing and communications,” she said. “At the time, we used 13 to 14 different ad agencies, and he fired them all and said, ‘We ought to be able to do this here with one voice.’”

And, while Gouge didn’t start out in Troy, she said she’d have to be “dynamited out of here” if someone wanted her to leave.

“It’s a great city, and it’s a great place to raise a family. But, it’s also a great retirement city,” she said. “With the university, the Johnson Center, the Pioneer Museum, the Colley Complex, we’ve got culture.”

When Gouge looks back at her career, she said there are several moments she’s been proud to be a part of.

One is the OGU merger “in branding Troy University because it never had a branding campaign to make people aware of Troy University,” she said.

Another key project in Gouge’s career at the university was the Rosa Parks Museum, something she holds as a proud moment in her tenure. But after finishing a number of big projects — completing the chancellors 10 year report, finishing a strategic plan and marketing plan and preparing to start on another of each — it just seemed the timing was right.

“It’s a good time for the university and me to get rewired,” she said.

Gouge may be stepping out of the university realm, but she can’t quite pull herself away from her marketing career. She plans to open a private marketing business, but not of course until after she takes the month of July off.

Gouge is a member of the Troy Rotary Club, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce board of directors and First United Methodist Church in Troy.

Her last day of work will be Wednesday, June 30.

“It went by in the blink of an eye, and I’ve enjoyed everyday.”

Troy University Senior Vice Chancellor of Advancement and External Relations John Schmidt said Gouge will be missed by her Troy University family.

“Sandi Gouge reflects the best of true servant leadership and will be missed by the entire Troy University family. Sandi in her 25 years at the university always stayed focused on the mission but she always looked out

for those who worked with and for her. She will be missed by all,” Schmidt said.