A warm welcome to RLFC
With the Ruth Lilly Fitness Center being one of the main hubs on campus for athletics, as well as a good workout, students and visitors likely have had the opportunity to meet one of the men at the front desk, Desk Worker Danny Higgins. Greeting everyone who enters the building with a welcoming smile, Higgins said he thoroughly enjoys his current line of work.
Born in 1945, Higgins is an Indianapolis native. He attended Howe High School and then got his first job at the age of 19 working at Ford Motor Company. While at Ford, Higgins worked seven days a week.
Retiring after 35 years, Higgins looked for a new challenge in life, and that new challenge was becoming a rehab technician. Taking an interest in some courses being offered by Community Hospital (East), Higgins jumped at the opportunity to become a rehab technician.
According to a Study.com article, a rehab technician assists occupational and physical therapists with treatments and schedules, prepares and transports patients to rehabilitative treatments, maintains client files and records and sets up, cleans and maintains equipment and treatment areas under the supervision of therapists.
Higgins said he knew what it was he wanted to do and wasted little time taking the opportunity to do it.
“I asked them [at Community Hospital] what it was that they offered,” Higgins said. “When I heard them mention rehab technician, I told them that that’s me.”
After Higgins completed the course, he was under contract with International Harvester [East Side], where he worked for four years as a rehab technician. Higgins said that he worked in the fitness center while employed at International Harvester. One of the many ways Higgins said he helped people was by providing them with advice on specific exercises, including telling them which ones would help get rid of unwanted fat.
When a job came open at the University of Indianapolis to work in the RLFC, Higgins said he was more than happy to apply for the job. With the help of Associate Director of Athletics Matthew Donovan, Higgins became a UIndy employee and has been working at the front desk in the Ruth Lilly Fitness Center for nearly 12 years.
One of Higgins’ main responsibilities when he first began working at UIndy was checking students’ IDs before they entered the RLFC.
“When I first started working here, we used to take the student’s ID and run it through a scanner,” Higgins said. “We did that because the school wanted to know who had entered the building at certain times. We don’t scan the IDs anymore. It went from scanning the IDs to just checking it, and now we don’t have to check it.”
Outside of checking student IDs, Higgins also finds joy in helping visitors and students by showing them around the RLFC. Higgins also is responsible for regulating who enters the building at specific times to use the workout facility.
“There are certain times when I have to stop people from coming in to use the gym downstairs,” Higgins said. “That’s because I can’t allow people to use the gym if there isn’t anyone on duty. It is mainly for safety.”
Higgins said he enjoys working in the RLFC. He works five days a week for four hours, with weekends off.
“When I first started working here, I had worked long hours,” Higgins said. “Now that I have worked my way up, I am now only working from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday.”
Higgins attends most of the sporting events held on campus to show his support for UIndy. He is a firm believer in treating others as you’d like to be treated.
“I contribute to the school, and they return the favor,” Higgins said. “It is a great place to work, [and] I love it here. I love working around younger people.”
The university has become more than just a place of employment for Higgins, he said it has become a happy place, associated with fond memories and relationships that will last him a lifetime.