Always the right "time" to volunteer


By Andrea O'Neill '06

Joe McCullough enrolled at Bloomsburg State College from New Jersey in 1970. As fate would have it, he was assigned a dorm room with Bill Farenbach from Lake Ariel. That assignment led him to stay in the area as a resident, and on campus as a volunteer. 

"I didn't know anybody," recalled McCullough. "My whole world centered on that one dorm room in Northumberland Hall with Bill. I met all his friends, and to this day, all my friends are from Wayne county. "

Their first year, Farenbach asked McCullough if he would accompany a visiting friend to Homecoming. The couple went to see a concert at Haas Auditorium and then went downtown for a slice of pizza. The rest, as they say, is history. He and his wife have been married for nearly forty-nine years and have two children and four grandchildren.

"All because of one quirk where someone put me in a room with Bill Farenbach," mused McCullough. I'd be in New Jersey right now. That room assignment created my family and all my grandchildren."

As a student, McCullough filled his time attending wrestling matches in Centennial to watch Husky standout, Shorty Hitchcock wrestle his way to two Division I national championships. After graduation, he began a 37-year career teaching 3rd grade for the Benton School District and was asked by a colleague to return to Husky wrestling meets as a clock operator. From 1985 to now, McCullough has missed only two home meets. Later, he took on the clock for the men's and women’s basketball teams. And while he admits it's pretty intense, he has no plans to retire.

"If it weren't for Shorty, I wouldn't have even gone to a wrestling match," said McCullough. "My hand used to shake; the stands were so crazy. You have to be in full contact with the ref at all times. Things happen so fast. It's fun to interact with the ref and players. I've been doing it so long it's become part of me."

In the 1990s, McCullough was part of a group that started the Carver Hall chapter of the BUAA for those Huskies living in the immediate area. The chapter met biweekly and organized events like Easter egg hunts and social trips.

"I knew there were alumni chapters in New Jersey and other areas, but none in the university's hometown, so we started it."

As society begins to return to in-person and large crowd events, Joe McCullough has returned to his role as an alumni volunteer for Bloomsburg University.

"I thought I would retire during the pandemic, but the pandemic is over, and I'm still here," said McCullough. "I don't know when I'm going to walk away. Watching the score and the time tick down, you see that last shot go up and in - that never gets old. Bloomsburg has been good to us, and I've loved every minute."

If you are interested in volunteering, let us know!