Franklin students, faculty and staff have seen him buzzing around.
This year, President Thomas Minar has taken up a new way to travel up and down Dame Mall—by a two-wheeled, self-balancing Segway.
When Minar first arrived at the college a little over a year ago, a colleague brought up that there was a Segway on campus that had been given to the president’s office as a gift after Margot Lacy Eccles died in 2012.
After some investigating, Minar found the machine in a facilities closet.
After he cleaned the dust off, washed it thoroughly and had it fixed up, he was able to get it running again.
Eccles was a general donor and chair of the physical plant facilities. She used the Segway to travel to her board meetings and around campus as she grew older.
That’s what Minar uses the Segway for, too—getting from place to place.
“My schedule is demanding and it gets me around campus quickly,” Minar said. “I love the fact that it can get me around the athletic fields.”
Minar said he goes through Grizzly Park to watch different practices and sometimes rides it around Franklin.
“I try to be very careful,” Minar said. “I don’t [wear a helmet]. I suppose I should start wearing my bike helmet, shouldn’t I?”
While there were sports camps over summer, Minar rode his Segway to visit the campers and to meet with the coaches. He was able to cover many of the camps in the span of 15 to 20 minutes.
Although Minar is the only person on campus who uses a Segway, he said he feels comfortable using it.
“I think [using a Segway is] for some people, and it’s not for other people,” Minar said. “My balance seems to work well with it, and I seem to be coordinated enough to make it work.”
Minar was trained to use a Segway to give tours prior to coming to Franklin College.
And although he’s using the new machine to get around, Minar will still be using his bike from Washington D.C.
“I love my bike, and I love riding it on campus,” Minar said. “I had that on my last campus too.”
Minar said the Segway is a great conversation starter, but his favorite thing about the Segway is the convenience of riding to meetings across campus.
“I enjoy seeing people around campus, waving at them, speaking to them, as I’m riding to [meetings],” Minar said.