20 Questions with Associate Registrar Thomas Manuel
1. Position at Centre?
2. Where did you grow up (and describe the place in one phrase or sentence)?
Born, raised and still living in Lexington, Ky. When I was younger, I loved the fact that it had a small-town feel with the amenities of a larger city. It has changed quite a bit and it has lost that small-town feel, but I’m sure I’ll spend the rest of my life in Lexington because it just feels like home.
3. What are your hobbies?
Most of my time is spent golfing these days, but I love playing all sports. I play baseball, softball, football and basketball and spend a lot of time in the gym. When not playing, I’m attending sporting events. This includes not missing a home UK football or basketball game in 18 years, traveling around to all of the major league baseball parks and a 20-year streak of going to the Derby. In addition to that, I play the drums. I love music, movies and reading. The rest of my time is spent looking for a wife—my parents wish I spent more time doing this …
4. What is your dream vacation?
Already went on it when my friends and I went to Hawaii. It’s the only place I’ve been that I actually considered leaving Kentucky for. I still hope to get to Australia, China, Greece and the British Isles.
5. Favorite artist and/or work of art?
I’m a big fan of realistic and surrealistic art. I prefer classical art, etchings and charcoal drawings. Two of my favorite artists are Michelangelo and Salvador Dali. My favorite piece of art is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but all of the Disney and Looney Tunes artwork is a close second.
6. Favorite novel or poem?
I love Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain and Stephen King. The Bible is the most important book in my life, but my other favorite books are “A Christmas Carol,” “The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” “The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe,” “The Divine Comedy,” “Faust” and “Heart of Darkness.”
7. Favorite sport (to watch or play)?
Baseball will always be number one, but I love golf, college football, college basketball, hockey and horse racing. You can’t go wrong with any of the above.
8. Favorite TV show?
Favorite show of all time is “M*A*S*H.” Right now, I’m into “The Killing,” “The Walking Dead” and “Hell on Wheels.”
9. Favorite album?
Music is a true passion of mine and I love all types of music. I listen to everything from Metallica to Mozart and everything in between. You can never go wrong with any album from RUSH, Queen, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Boston, Elton John, Elvis or The Who. If I had to pick one, I believe the greatest album is RUSH’s “Moving Pictures.”
10. Favorite holiday?
Tie between Christmas and Halloween. I love decorating the tree and spending time with family and friends at Christmas. My Dad used to dress up at Halloween and scare the neighborhood children when they came to our house for trick-or-treat. I’ve continued the tradition.
11. Favorite food?
Cheeseburgers, prime rib and my mom’s barbecued chicken.
12. Most prized possession?
I prize my faith, family and friends the most. If I had to pick a material object, I would say my baseball, golf and other sports ribbons, medals and trophies. I was told by a doctor as a young boy that I wouldn’t be able to play sports due to a severe case of asthma and allergies. I’ve spent the majority of my life proving him and others wrong.
13. Three people, living or deceased, whom you’d invite to the same dinner party?
I could never narrow it down to three. I, like my mother, believe the more the merrier. I would invite all my family, friends and anyone else that wanted to come. Happy Meals for everyone!
14. Favorite aspect of your job?
Helping students graduate by assisting in finding solutions to academic problems. Also, I enjoy seeing students graduate who may have struggled when they first came to Centre.
15. Most memorable experience of your youth?
Every baseball game I played growing up and every round of golf with my friends. Most of my best memories revolve around those experiences. A close second is getting an Evel Knievel bike from Santa one Christmas. More than a few ramps and curbs were jumped on that bike.
16. What would you be doing if you weren’t working at Centre?
Working as a sports announcer doing the play-by-play for baseball, golf, college football or college basketball. If I had enough free time, I would try to make one of the professional golf tours.
17. Educational experience that’s been most helpful to you?
My parents stressed the importance of a good education and I was very fortunate to have some great teachers. I took a computer science course in junior high and the teacher really piqued my interest in computers and their potential. A large portion of my job is working with and programming computers and my teacher was the reason I became so interested in computers.
18. Fictional character in whose shoes you’d love to spend a day?
This is hard to narrow down, but it would be between Batman, Green Lantern, Sherlock Holmes and James Bond. If I had to choose, I would go with James Bond. He drove the coolest cars, got all the women and had a license to kill. What more could a guy want?
19. Favorite place on campus (and why)?
Cowan. That’s where the food is.
20. Advice you’d give to a first-year college student to make success more likely?
Follow your dreams. Listen to your heart and pursue the major(s) that will help you achieve your goals and help you do what you love in life. Don’t let anyone stop you from going after your dreams. You will spend a majority of your life after college working, so make sure you will enjoy what you do.