CIU Staff Member Tilton Retires after 42 Years

August 12, 2016

As co-workers gathered around Roger Tilton to wish him well in retirement, the venue was particularly meaningful. He stood in the middle of the Ram Shack, the popular student hang out that Tilton helped transform from a campus bookstore just a few years ago.

“We tried to develop this to meet the needs of our students,” the departing business manager said. “This is all about students, this Ram Shack.”  

Tilton held a number of staff positions on the business management side of Columbia International University for 42 years. And while his work has often been behind the scenes, he says the mission of CIU has always excited him because, “God puts us in these places.”

“We have students come from all over the world, to be trained to go back out all over the world,” Tilton said. “To be able to see God’s work not only here on campus, and then to see (the students) leave, whether in this country or overseas, it’s been very rewarding.”

Tilton’s longtime supervisor, Vice President Keith Marion, noted that over the years, many students wanted to work in the bookstore under Tilton’s management, even though the work was hard and the hours inconvenient. Turns out Tilton and his wife Polly were inviting the students to their house for meals.   

“I learned that Roger and Polly took care of the students,” Marion said. “And then I got to know some of the students who worked for Roger, and found out they became a part of his family.”

In retirement, Tilton says he’ll have “six Saturdays and a Sunday” every week and will begin on his “honey do list” soon.