Published: Jan. 17, 2002

Editors: Reporters and photographers are invited to attend JC Ancell's retirement party from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. today in the East Glenn Miller Ballroom of the University Memorial Center. A ceremony featuring several speakers will begin at 3:30 p.m.

When asked what he plans to do with his retirement after 34 years at CU-Boulder's University Memorial Center, JC Ancell said he's going to ride his Harley from coast to coast -- then do it again.

Ancell, associate director of the UMC, has seen and done many interesting things during his time at CU-Boulder. His three fondest memories, however, are winning the Trivia Bowl in 1973, back-to-back Rolling Stones stadium concerts and being named employee of the year in 1990.

Of all the concerts that Ancell has organized, he was unable to pick a favorite. "Concerts you produce become like your children," Ancell said. "It's hard to pick a favorite."

Looking back at his career, Ancell said one of the mistakes he will remember was the Fleetwood Mac concert at Folsom Field in the late 1970s. "I sold 61,500 tickets to the Fleetwood Mac concert at Folsom Field -- that's how I found out the field only held 60,000," he said. "Let's just say it was more than a little crowded, but it was a great concert."

"He is going to be very much missed," said Carlos Garcia, director of the UMC. "I will probably be the one that misses him the most, since he has helped me so much with issues surrounding the UMC," Garcia said.

Ancell began working at the UMC as an hourly worker in 1967 when he was a student at Boulder High School and worked his way up to associate director. In his years at the UMC Ancell developed some strong friendships, one of which was with Jimmie Baker, assistant UMC director for operations.

"I have known JC for 20 years," Baker said. "He took me under his wing and was a great friend and a great professional role model."

Ancell was the catalyst behind many of the renovations the UMC has seen over the years. "He was the starting force behind the UMC renovation project and also was in charge of the food service renovation in 1986," Baker said. "He always looked out for the special needs of all the students when making changes -- he wanted to make sure all needs were met."

According to Baker, Ancell is an effective communicator not only with students or with administrators, but with both. "JC was always very good at bridging the gap between students and administration," Baker said. "It's hard to replace a JC."

Ancell has seen a lot of changes at the UMC. Among those changes was the retirement of Jim Schafer as director of the UMC in 1996. "For 26 years he was a steady and trusted advocate for students' rights," Ancell said. "I'm flattered when people call me an icon, but to me Jim Schafer was an icon."

One of the other changes that Ancell has seen throughout the course of his career has been with the students. The late 60s and early 70s were characterized by independent student leadership, Ancell said. Students today are more concerned with different issues and not as excited about taking on leadership roles, Ancell said. "It's almost like the adults are back in charge."

Ancell has seen many changes throughout the course of his career at CU-Boulder and is looking forward to a change in pace. "I am looking forward to a different perspective -- I need to see things from the Harley for a while."