Bill Paulus

Owls and architecture

Dear FM,

Sprint to the Finish

Welcome Week begins in just one week, and fall classes resume September 3rd. FM always has a busy summer work schedule, and I appreciate everyone pitching in to get our campus ready for the start of a new school year.  

Getting to Know FM Districts

We are continuing to get great responses on our survey for getting to know our campus. We are still accepting input, and you can fill out this google form.

I would like to thank Paul Drews, East Bank Team Manager, for his submission. Paul can tell you the history of almost any building on campus and never seems to run out of interesting facts. One of Paul’s favorite spots around campus is Walter Library, which was named after Frank Keller Walter who held the position of University Librarian from 1921 through 1943. The theme of Walter Library is owls, hence the Wise Owl Cafe, but did you know there are 227 total owls spread throughout the library? In fact, one room contains 146 owls carved into the walls, but only one owl has pupils. Be sure to look for that owl next time you visit Walter Library. 

The leftmost owl is the only owl with pupils.

Walter Library.

Paul believes that everyone should look up more often, literally look up. When you are in Walter, look above this door to see Athena, the greek goddess of wisdom, knowledge and strategic warfare. In other East Bank buildings look up to see a beautiful stained glass window in Burton Hall, and outside of Pillsbury Hall there is a lion carved into the side of the building hidden by bushes, a gargoyle and Medusa.

Athena in the Walter Library.

Another of Paul’s favorite spots is the auditorium in Northrop. When the auditorium was originally built in 1929, it was designed to fit the whole student population which was 4800 students at the time. After its renovation completed in 2014, the main stage now accommodates 2,700 patrons in a more intimate environment with pristine acoustics. During the renovation, the historic Northrop organ, an Aeolian-Skinner Opus 892, was moved into storage, then repaired and reinstalled in 2018. It is one of the last remaining concert hall pipe organs in the United States. Paul also strongly suggests a visit to Surdyk's Café, the cafe inside of Northrop. Not only is the coffee phenomenal, but the staff members are happy to be there.

Paul Drews in Northrop Auditorium.

FM New Chief of Staff

As I announced on an earlier email, Jen Pierson begins her new role as FM Chief of Staff today. She will continue to support Energy Management as needed during the search process for a new EM administrative manager. Jen can be reached at or (612) 301-1517. Please help me in welcoming her to the new position!

Have a great week!



U of M at the State Fair

From August 22nd to September 2nd, Minnesota’s great get together occurs. Come to the Minnesota State Fair and visit the 11 different sites where our faculty, staff, and students have informative displays and conduct research studies. For more information on the different sites, click here! See you at the fair!

Summer at the Rec
Stay fit this summer at the University Recwell. See schedules and hours for the new pool here! You can also rent gear from the Center for Outdoor Adventure.

Latest FM News

There is no way this could have happened without their efforts.