The man from Maine: Goggin
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 01:09
The Goggin name elicits images of thunderous, jam-packed crowds and the skid of blades on ice—not so much a 95 year-old man. However, the man behind the arena, as well as his wife, still call Oxford their home. Lloyd Goggin sat down with The Miami Student for a nostalgic afternoon.
The Goggins, originally from Maine, have called Oxford home for over 66 years. Goggin fondly recalled watching the Miami University student-body grow from five to 15 thousand. Goggin also said he witnessed the formation of Miami’s first hockey team in 1978. He and his family have been fans ever since.
When asked to describe some of Miami’s most notable changes over the years, Goggin responded, “Buildings, buildings, buildings, buildings…”
Goggin served in the military from 1941 until the end of ’45.
“After I was out of the service, a friend of mine was offered a position [at Miami], which I eventually took, because he had already accepted [another] position,” Goggin said. “[The friend] referred me to a Mr. Roudebush, who Roudebush Hall is named after, who was a very fine person.”
This happenstance began the man from Maine’s long tenure at Miami.
“I worked for Mr. Roudebush as comptroller for nine years, until he died,” Goggin said. “Then I took his name and title, as VP for Finance and Business affairs. And I was here until 1982.”
Goggin said he helped orchestrate a number of Miami projects, including the first ice center in 1976. Goggin was VP throughout an iconic era at Miami. He was an integral part of the founding of the Luxembourg campus in 1968, the annexation of the Western College in 1974 and the addition of two Miami regional campuses to the university’s domain.
“The old ice arena was not very old, after we got into hockey… they took the old one, which cost about $3 million and built a new one that cost $35 million,” Goggin said. “They saw fit to do, so they did; it wasn’t in my domain.”
When former University President James Garland made the executive decision to proceed with plans of building a new ice center located across campus from the original Goggin Ice Arena, it was decided that the new $35 million facility would continue to carry the Goggin name and legacy.
“It’s an excellent student facility,” Miami sophomore Graham Arledge said. “With Miami sports memorabilia and photos all around, I feel that much closer to my peers: especially during hockey games.”
Goggin feels right at home at Miami, who has so wholeheartedly embraced him and his work.
“I think Miami is one of the greatest schools in the country, I really do,” Goggin said. “I came from Bowdoin College in Maine, that’s a beautiful, beautiful old 12 hundred student school-and it doesn’t compare. [Miami] is tremendous.”
“We came to like Oxford, we really did, but we go back to Maine every year except for one in over 60 years. And that one [was due to] some responsibility I’m sure.” Goggin said. “We’ve gotten used to Oxford, we like Oxford, we like the university, we like the people we’ve met. So here we are.”
“We won’t miss hockey games,” Goggin said when asked about his favorite Oxford pastime.
The Goggin family’s fondness of MU hockey mirrors that of President David Hodge and his wife, Valerie, according to the president. He also added that he feels Mr. and Mrs. Goggin “reflect the Miami experience.”
Hodge said he feels it a privilege to have gotten to know Goggin, who he calls distinguished and hardworking. Hodge said the Goggins were a “sweet and enthusiastic couple.”
There are countless witnesses to Lloyd Goggin’s kind spirit and sharp mind. Most remarkable is his constant humility. When asked what it was like to be an Oxford celebrity, he chuckled, “I’m just a hard worker, not a celebrity.”
Goggin is perhaps the closest thing to a living record Miami has in 2013.
“I hate to admit it, to admit how much bypasses you over that many years,” Goggin said. “You think you remember parts, and you try to recount parts, and all of a sudden you can’t remember this, you can’t remember that. But, it’ll come back to you eventually.”