Rob Simpson Heads New Rec Center

Reported by Emma Lindberg

Photographed by Satoshi Seth

Rob Simpson willingly, even eagerly, departed sunny California to take over management of the new Student Activity Center at George Fox University. He is passionate about college students, rock climbing, and Haagen-Dazs dark chocolate ice cream bars.

Simpson will be single-handedly running our new recreational (rec) center. He has already started making decisions about the new building and how it will run.

Simpson’s first job out of college was an Area Coordinator position at George Fox University (GFU). He also used to lead Resident Assistant (RA) team retreats here in the summers. After working at various universities in California, such as Point Loma University, Azusa Pacific University, and Simpson University, he returned to his roots at GFU.

“In a lot of ways, when I left here in 2001, I always hoped that there might be an opportunity to come back. When I found about the position and the new student center being opened, that was really appealing to me,” said Simpson.

Simpson’s degree is in college student development. He is channeling his expertise and experience with college students into making the new Student Activity Center the best possible environment for to students feel welcome, encouraged, and motivated.

His unique perspective as a trip leader on week-long RA retreats and teaching in the Outdoor Leadership major at Simpson University is bringing an outdoor rental service to GFU’s new Student Center. Students will be able to rent outdoor equipment such as tents and climbing gear.


Features will also include a climbing wall, an indoor track, and a full gym, as well as different
exercise classes and space for intramurals.

Before the new facility opens in the fall, Simpson is making “a million little details and decisions every day.” Currently he is making decisions on gym equipment, and visiting other colleges to learn about how they are being run.

“Last week I was at OSU, and granted, it’s a much larger institution. But they have 40 full-time
staff, and there’s one of me,” said Simpson.

With such a large role and a wide span of responsibilities, Simpson is relying on hiring responsible and “top-shelf ” student leaders, especially for coordinator positions. There will be 60 or more students employed at the Student Activity Center.

Simpson is passionate about making the building a welcoming space so that students want to be there and want to get active. Being physically healthy leads to being mentally healthy, and to healthy scholars, he said.

“I’m really excited for the center to open. I really do think that it has the ability to really positively impact the student experience here,” said Simpson.

The new Student Activity Center will open to students at the beginning of the 2018 fall semester, and Rob Simpson is excited to get to know students and for them to utilize this beautiful new space.