2019 Retirees: Michael Murgatroyd

Every year, we are honoured to recognize members of the SMUS community as they retire and take on new adventures. Read the 2019 Retirees series to learn more about their outstanding contributions to the school. In this story, we recognize Michael Murgatroyd, former Director of Finance and Administration.

Michael Murgatroyd

When you settle into a good thing, you stay there. Michael Murgatroyd did.

For Michael, the position of St. Michaels University School’s Director of Finance and Administration was the most rewarding job he’s ever had. So much so, he did not retire at 60 or 65 but stayed on with the SMUS community until his early 70s.

“That’s what I did with my ‘retirement,’” he says with a laugh. “It was a wonderful community.”

Michael’s first connection with the school was as a parent. Two of his three children attended SMUS after the family relocated to Victoria from West Vancouver. A chartered accountant, his previous professional work spanned industries, including 15 years as CFO in aquaculture. When the SMUS job posting came up, the timing was seamless, and Michael came on board.

As a parent, he’d always had a strong rapport with Bob Snowden, former Head of School. As a member of the staff team, their working relationship was excellent, he says. Michael’s other experiences with CEOs had been difficult, but this was a sincere pleasure.

In his role at SMUS, Michael had multiple departments which reported to him: Buildings and Grounds, Finance, the Health Centre, Ancillary Services (transportation, etc.), IT and Education Extension to name a few.

“They were all great teams.” Unlike in other organizations, he says that it all went pretty smoothly, there were no “big surprises,” and everything stayed close to budget.

Michael project managed major capital additions. He counted 14 new buildings or major renovations during his time at SMUS. For him, the Sun Centre was the most meaningful project, though his vital role in the acquisition of the Rowing Centre was also significant. “I got to cut the ribbon,” he shares.

Life’s abundant for Michael, with much travel abroad and more time to spend with his four grandchildren, not to mention sailing with his wife in their 38-foot sailboat. He continues as the treasurer for the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia and his work as a mentor with the Gustavson School of Business. He’s hiking, gardening, and learning how to fly fish in retirement.

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