Integrity, service leadership and passion are the three non-negotiable aspects Maureen McGonagle, director of Campus Recreation, attributes to the success of her work while at DePaul. McGonagle has been at the university for 20 years and has been integral in institutionalizing the Vincentian Mission into the mission of the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center.
“When I think about DePaul’s mission, I think about serving all people, and serving them well. It’s that idea of being effective but also being efficient,” McGonagle says. Living up to her words, McGonagle’s team of both staff and student employees have intentionally integrated the university’s mission into their daily operations.
The department’s mission statement explicitly reads:
“To accomplish this mission and support the Vincentian mission of DePaul University the department will… Offer high quality programs and services that are inclusive, innovative, and comprehensive; Maintain progressive and well managed facilities in a safe and enjoyable environment; Provide experiential learning and foster the development of leadership, social, and management skills through employment and participation opportunities; Promote sustainability through the effective and ethical management of human, financial, and physical resources.”
By continuously using language and concepts associated with the Vincentian mission, the Campus Rec team solidified it as the backbone of everything they do at the Ray. As the university’s largest employer of student workers – more than 140 student employees – Campus Rec holds a special responsibility in shaping students’ futures beyond DePaul. They have strived as a team to instill the importance of honoring and respecting the innate dignity of each person they encounter as a distinctively Vincentian commitment.
These efforts by McGonagle and her professional staff foster a culture that prioritizes dedication to the mission, and it is carried on through their student employees. When intramural student supervisors were tasked with identifying a team goal, they chose to recognize student participants who embody sportsmanship and the spirit of playing recreational sports. Rather than using a traditional “Most Valuable Player” award, the team created an award honoring this student -- the “Most Vincentian Player.” This is just one example of the way McGonagle and her team have helped integrate DePaul’s mission into their day-to-day work.
However, McGonagle’s focus is not only within the walls of the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center. She has discovered immense value in building relationships with other university departments to work together towards accomplishing goals and helping serve the community in new ways.
She ensures all Campus Recreation student staff and professional staff understand they have a responsibility to DePaul. If they want to live out the Vincentian legacy, they must treat everyone they encounter with respect, demonstrate empathy and perform their work with transparency and integrity.
“I think the mission-centered model we’ve implemented will have a long-term impact and is something our team will carry with them forever,” she says. “Everything they learn here is transferable. I know they will bring the Vincentian mission wherever they end up in the future.”