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Chauncey’s Champion Someone making a difference.

'All signs point to a banner day' for CCU's sign shop supervisor Bob Burns

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Family life is never a dull moment for Burns and April, who have 12-year-old twin boys, Presley and Blaise.
Family life is never a dull moment for Burns and April, who have 12-year-old twin boys, Presley and Blaise.

New Student Orientation can be overwhelming for students and their families, especially when they are navigating an unfamiliar campus. Robert “Bob” Burns, supervisor of the sign shop at Coastal Carolina University, believes proper signage is important and makes the experience better for everyone who visits campus.

As sign shop supervisor, Burns handles all of the signage requests on campus and oversees the engraving department, where all of campus nametags, building directories, room identification signage and engraved awards are designed and constructed.

“One of the things I really enjoy about my position is that no two days are ever the same,” said Burns.

On the first day of Orientation in July 2018, Susannah Marshman, director of New Student and Family Programs, noticed several of the directional signs that her office placed around campus had already fallen down, and she realized the rest of the signs probably would not stay in place over the next month of Orientation sessions.

Even though his work shift was almost over, Burns traveled all over campus with Marshman to fix the broken signs. Without hesitation, he agreed to stay late and finish the task. Marshman submitted Burns as a Chauncey’s Champion the next day.

“What motivated me to stay was the fact that Orientation is the first time our students and families are spending meaningful time on campus,” Burns said. “I just felt that ensuring the signs were up would lead to fewer people having trouble finding their way around or getting lost on campus.”

Burns begins each day with a tour of campus to make sure no signage has been stolen or damaged. He said this has become increasingly important now that there is construction at Brooks Stadium and University Boulevard is filled with Department of Transportation signage. Making certain that nothing is missing helps ensure the safety of everyone on campus. After that, the sign shop crew begins to fulfill work order requests.

“Bob is one of my favorite people to work with on campus,” said Marshman, who has worked with Burns for more than two years to arrange signage for events such as New Student Orientation, CINO TIE, O-Team Recruitment and Family Weekend. “He stops by the office to just say hi, and to see how our day is going and when we will be submitting requests for signs. At this point he knows our timetable pretty well,” said Marshman.

His commitment to providing quality service for every department at CCU has turned into a mantra: “All signs point to a banner day.”

That phrase is especially pertinent for Burns to during hurricane season, which was particularly rough this semester. Burns and the sign shop employees play an important role in hurricane preparation, removing all temporary signage so they don’t become projectiles during strong wind gusts.

During Hurricane Florence, the sign shop worked with facilities grounds crews to prepare for the storm. “What was different this year was the potential for flooding from rain, so once the signage had been secured, we helped facilities fill sand bags and place them in flood-prone buildings across campus,” Burns said.

The two departments collaborated again to assist with aftermath efforts once they were able to tour campus and assess the damage to signage. Luckily, the winds did not cause many signs to blow away, Burns said.

However, the heavy rains soaked much of the ground of CCU’s campus, causing many signs to lean over. Once the signage was properly reset, sign shop and facilities employees removed the sand bags and started to get back into their normal routine.

“Our work in the sign shop is very impactful because we get to assist anyone from our campus community who needs our service,” said Burns. “For me, ‘Feel the Teal’ means doing more than just what is required. Whether it is delivering items to people on campus, meeting with someone regarding a signage project or completing a project that needs a quick turnaround, we strive to let our campus customers feel important.”

Burns joined the CCU family in October 2013. Prior to coming to CCU, he owned a business in downtown Conway where he made signs, banners and awards. “Naturally, when the position in the sign shop became available, I was extremely interested and excited to be given this opportunity,” he said.

Burns earned a degree in sports management in 1995 from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio, where was a member of the track and field team. After graduation, he moved to Hilton Head Island to be closer to his fiancée and started a career in the golf industry. They were married later that year, and in January 1996, Burns and his wife, April, moved to Myrtle Beach, where he spent seven years in the golf industry before taking over a sign business in Conway.

Family life is never a dull moment for the Burnses, who have 12-year-old twin boys, Presley and Blaise. The family usually spends weekends on the beach because the boys love to surf. Burns makes time for himself by playing in the Thursday night golf league at the Hackler Golf Course.

As a former athlete, Burns enjoys the feeling of being a crucial member of the CCU team. “Being a part of CCU is really like being part of a larger family,” he said.

 

Chauncey’s Service Excellence Champions are University employees (faculty or staff) who perform service-oriented actions that go above and beyond their job duties and that meet at least one dimension of service quality. These employees are recognized for outstanding performance and embody the Feel the Teal initiative. To nominate someone for Chauncey’s Champion, visit coastal.edu/feeltheteal, fill out the form and submit it. Approved nominees will receive an exclusive Chauncey’s Champion gift as well as consideration for additional recognition. View all the Chauncey’s Champions at coastal.edu/feeltheteal/champions/champs.php.
 

Related Photos

Burns (right) and John Augustine installed the “Welcome Wall” in the Chant 411 office this August. The wall features 34 translations of the words “welcome” in languages that represent CCU’s current student population. Family life is never a dull moment for Burns and April, who have 12-year-old twin boys, Presley and Blaise.
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